As road crews across the area work to clear all the slush and ice off the road, it takes a toll not only on the workers but on the budget as well.
Crews at the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department in District Four began working around the clock Sunday morning (Feb. 2) as the last round of winter weather began moving through. Approximately 200 employees at the department were split into two 12-hour shifts.
While District Engineer Chad Adams says the department doesn’t have a final count yet on all of the materials they’ve used over the past few days, he says they’ve used more materials than expected at this point in the season. That means they’ll have less money to use fixing damaged roads this spring, Adams said.
“This winter weather freeze-thaw cycle really does a number on our roadways, and until things kind of get dried up and we’re able to get crews back around to patch those potholes, it can be a little bit harsh on a car,” Adams explained.
The district’s new fiscal year begins on July 1st. After that, Adams said the department will have more money available to fix the damaged roads.
The department’s 24-hour shifts are expected to continue through Wednesday afternoon, according to Adams. After that, he said crews will gear up for the next round of winter weather expected to move through by the weekend.