Because the Colorado Division of Transportation continues to face a scarcity of snowplow drivers, the company is providing month-to-month stipends of $1,000 to lease and plans to construct new housing in Basalt to draw workers to keep up Freeway 82 this winter and in future seasons.
CDOT has not stuffed any of the six snow plow operator positions which can be purported to be stationed in El Jebel and three of the 4 positions are stuffed in Carbondale.
To fill the void, space supervisors are working with workers primarily based in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Rifle to plow and keep Freeway 82 from Carbondale to the Independence Go closure gate east of ‘Aspen.
CDOT has recognized 11 personnel in Rifle, Glenwood Springs and the Hanging Lake space of Glenwood Canyon who will be prepared forward of a storm because the company implements its surge group technique, based on Elise Thatcher, CDOT communications supervisor.
“We are able to additionally herald folks from Grand Junction, individuals who do upkeep on gear or engineers who would possibly find yourself spending extra time plowing,” she stated. “They’ll mobilize earlier than a storm.”
Final 12 months, CDOT had 5 of 10 positions stuffed within the Roaring Fork Valley and the company nonetheless confronted a 20% driver scarcity throughout the board, however confronted with a rising housing disaster and fewer CDL drivers within the hiring pool, CDOT needed to get artistic.
The month-to-month lease allowance for CDOT staff positioned in El Jebel and Carbondale has elevated from $500 to $1,000 efficient November 1.
The wage of freeway upkeep staff has seen annual will increase of three% over the previous three years, and CDOT has elevated its first-year salaries by an extra 7.5% for its primary upkeep positions. For entry-level upkeep positions, the beginning wage additionally elevated by 2.5% with a coaching wage improve of 5% within the first 12 months.
The wage for entry-level freeway maintainers is $44,000, however that climbs to $52,500 with additional time, on-call pay and efficiency bonuses, based on Thatcher.
“Compensation is one thing we proceed to work on,” she stated.
Though housing allowances strengthen workers’ capacity to lease or purchase houses the place they dwell and work, Colorado continues to lack a listing of houses that the allowance can not handle.
In consequence, CDOT is establishing new workforce housing that can enable important workers to dwell inside half-hour of their assigned service space.
CDOT has secured an house in a brand new five-unit constructing in Glenwood Springs and may train the choice to acquire extra on the property and is seeking to construct housing in Basalt.
CDOT is within the preliminary planning part of this mission and there are at the moment no formal funding or proposals, Thatcher stated.
“CDOT’s dialogue contains native stakeholders (metropolis, county, and different state companies reminiscent of (the Colorado Division of Pure Sources and the Colorado State Patrol),” she wrote in a press release. “This can be a enormous enterprise, and with our new elevated housing allowance, one thing we’ll regularly assess.
CDOT was capable of depend on its three workers primarily based in Carbondale to correctly clear and keep Freeway 82 over the last storm cycle which dropped greater than 2 toes of snow in October and early November.
Repeated requests for remark from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Workplace on the upkeep of Freeway 82 throughout the current storm cycle went unanswered.
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