CDOT ups the ante with cash, housing to lure snow plow drivers

CDOT ups the ante with cash, housing to lure snow plow drivers

A CDOT snowplow pushes snow from the left lane onto Grand Avenue after a storm dumped a number of inches of snow in Glenwood and surrounding cities final winter.
Chelsea Freelance / Freelance place

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 hire and plans to construct new housing in Basalt to draw staff to take care of Freeway 82 this winter and in future seasons.

CDOT has not crammed 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 crammed in Carbondale.

To fill the void, space supervisors are working with staff based mostly in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Rifle to plow and preserve 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 may be prepared forward of a storm because the company implements its surge crew technique, in response to Elise Thatcher, CDOT communications supervisor.

“We will additionally herald folks from Grand Junction, individuals who do upkeep on gear or engineers who would possibly find yourself spending extra time plowing,” she mentioned. “They’ll mobilize earlier than a storm.”

Final yr, CDOT had 5 of 10 positions crammed 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 inventive.

The month-to-month hire allowance for CDOT employees positioned in El Jebel and Carbondale has been elevated from $500 to $1,000, efficient November 1.

The wage of freeway upkeep employees 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 enhance of 5% within the first yr.

The wage for entry-level freeway maintainers is $44,000, however that climbs to $52,500 with time beyond regulation, on-call pay and efficiency bonuses, in response to Thatcher.

“Compensation is one thing we proceed to work on,” she mentioned.

Though housing allowances strengthen staff’ potential to hire or purchase properties the place they reside and work, Colorado continues to lack a list of properties that the allowance can not tackle.

Because of this, CDOT is developing new workforce housing that can permit important staff to reside inside half-hour of their assigned service space.

CDOT has secured an house in a brand new five-unit constructing in Glenwood Springs and might train the choice to acquire extra on the property and is seeking to construct housing in Basalt.

CDOT is within the preliminary planning section of this undertaking and there are presently no formal funding or proposals, Thatcher mentioned.

“CDOT’s dialogue consists of native stakeholders (metropolis, county, and different state companies just like the Colorado Division of Pure Assets and the Colorado State Patrol),” she wrote in an electronic mail. -mail. “It is an enormous endeavor, and with our new elevated housing allowance, one thing we will probably be regularly evaluating.”

CDOT was in a position to depend on its three staff stationed in Carbondale to correctly clear and preserve Freeway 82 over the last storm cycle which dropped greater than 2 ft of snow in October and early November.

Repeated requests for remark from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Workplace on the upkeep of Freeway 82 in the course of the current storm cycle went unanswered.

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