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Arctic Blast Costs Big Bucks

The Indiana Department of Transportation budget for a winter averages $33.8 million a year. They've already spent $31 million this winter.
"A lot of our drivers are getting worn out but it's our job to keep the state roads, U.S routes, and interstates clear of the snow and that's our top priority in the winter months," said Debbie Calder with the Indiana Department of Transportation.

At the end of January we're just over half way through winter. But this year's arctic blast is hitting wallets hard, including INDOT's winter budget. They've spent $31 million already this winter. That money went to plowing roads, fuel, supplies and paying drivers. That's just $2 million less than the average cost of a winter.

"Over the last five winters, statewide, INDOT averages spending about $33.8 million on winter operations," said Calder.

This winter has also come with a heavy dose of snow. After a mild winter last year, some cities and counties were able to save supplies or even cut back on which roads they treated. Others took a different route and reached out for help.

"We've had a few requests for some salt," said Calder. "I know we've helped a little bit but right now we haven't had trouble getting salt at all."

INDOT has used over 6,800 tons of salt on interstates and roads around the Terre Haute area. They also traveled over 4.3 million miles across the state working to keep roads clear for Hoosiers this winter. Calder says they receive regular supplies and expects them to keep coming until the snow is melted and green grass is showing.

The first day of spring is March 20.
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