CDOT is working to increase the size of its plow driver corps

CDOT is working to increase the size of its plow driver corps

Colorado Division of Transportation snow plow drivers gathered Nov. 1 in Silverthorne for a pre-winter lunch. The division has added 72 new plow operators over the previous yr, with one other 30 anticipated to affix within the coming weeks.
Colorado Division of Transportation/Courtesy Photograph

Because the mountains of Colorado are on the point of one other winter, the Colorado Division of Transportation is engaged on short- and long-term plans to maintain site visitors flowing.

In a current interview, Colorado Division of Transportation Director Shoshana Lew mentioned the division is refining its efforts to have plow drivers — “highway maintainers” in departmental parlance to replicate their standing as first responders — work to maintain the roads clear.

Staffing is “at all times a problem,” Lew mentioned, including that the division is progressing alongside the state’s busiest interstate corridors and secondary roads, together with U.S. Freeway 40 and State Freeway 82.

There are new drivers within the state — 72 final yr, Lew mentioned. One other 30 are in coaching and are nearly prepared to begin work.

Along with the brand new individuals, Lew mentioned the division requested for volunteers for peak service, occasions when large storms require drivers to maneuver from one space to a different. About 40 individuals answered the decision and are being educated for this process.

Assist native journalism

The height service comes with some perks, together with what Lew known as “beneficiant” time beyond regulation pay.

All freeway upkeep staff require a business driver’s license, a certification that’s in excessive demand. Lew mentioned the division has labored to develop its personal certified drivers. Individuals from different departments typically reply the decision for brand spanking new drivers. An individual who had been an administrative assistant signed as much as drive. She lately completed third in a expertise competitors. A driver’s partner signed up for the coaching and is now a part of the crew.

study the methods

This coaching contains studying to drive in tandem with different vans and driving plows with elongated blades that basically take double chew out of a snowy highway.

Margaret Bowes is the director of the I-70 Coalition, a nonprofit group made up of native governments and companies alongside the mountainous portion of the Interstate 70 hall.

Bowes mentioned she was inspired by the division’s efforts to extend its workforce.

Noting that staffing is a matter in nearly each business in each area of the state, Bowes mentioned, “I believe any small gesture will assist” maintain sufficient drivers on the job. “It is fairly important that CDOT) has the workers it must maintain the freeway open.

However having drivers is just a part of the smoothness of the freeway. Bowes famous that the coalition’s web site,, supplies real-time site visitors info. The location additionally supplies journey recommendation and public transport choices. These choices have expanded, with CDOT’s Pegasus transit service making frequent weekend journeys from the Denver space to mountain locations.

Along with staffing, housing is one other essential aspect in filling the ranks of highway maintainers.

“Thrilling” actual property hopes

Lew mentioned there have been some “thrilling” strikes on that entrance.

The division’s director of human assets, Kristi Gitkind, mentioned the largest fast increase is housing allowances on high of base pay. These allowances begin at $800 per 30 days. The Eagle County allowance is $2,000 per 30 days.

Moreover, the division is working with different state companies to construct new housing.

Lew mentioned the division was engaged on housing complexes for staff, the primary being at Fairplay. The basalt space can be set for a housing complicated. And, Lew mentioned, the division is working with the State Land Board to place extra housing in EagleVail subsequent to a division upkeep yard. Lodging on the location is now restricted to a couple cellular houses.

“We will put much more density there,” Lew mentioned, including that the present plan requires the buyout of present cellular dwelling homeowners. New staff additionally appear to need ‘extra fashionable’ lodging,” Lew added.

Whereas clearing the roads is crucial, Lew mentioned protecting site visitors flowing is a crew effort. This implies motorists and truckers.

State legislation requires business vans to hold chains primarily from Labor Day by Memorial Day. State legislation additionally supplies doubtlessly steep penalties for individuals who block a lane attributable to an absence of chains or improper tires.

“It is common sense,” Lew famous. “The snow stops and begins once more, so all of us should be prepared.”

#CDOT #working #enhance #dimension #plow #driver #corps

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.