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Removing Ice and Snow from Roads can be Expensive

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The highway and road department are doing last minute preparations for ice and snow. However, according to Joe Shipman, district engineer with the Arkansas highway department, removing ice and snow can get expensive.

“Over the past two years we’ve spent $900,000 for ice and snow material,” said Shipman.

This amount doesn’t include fuel and equipment cost. For 2012’s budget, the highway department received $6 million and Shipman said snow brings additional road expenses.

“We see more damage to our roadways and those end up being a cost in the long run,” said Shipman.

Scott Stober, director of the Benton County Road Department said their budget also comes from a general fund used for all of their projects.

“The road fund is two percent of every dollar generated, taxable dollar in the county,” said Stober.

“The salt and sand is expensive and the fuel too,” said Stober.

Stober said the road department received $11 million for their budget and said they are in charge of 2,000 miles of county roads.

Stober said they have 150 tons of salt and sand mixture ready and they will pretreat the roads a couple of hours before the snow hits.

“We have about 16 trucks ready to go,” said Stober.

As for the highway department, Shipman said all the bridges on I-540 have been pretreated and expects crews to be working until Tuesday.

“Right now we are anticipating crews coming in between 10 and midnight tonight and they will be activated until the winter weather is over with,” said Shipman.

Shipman asked the public to be aware that their equipment works at slower speeds and to allow room for their equipment to operate.

Both departments said they expect this year to be less expensive than 2011, which will provide more funds to use on road repair projects.