CDOT ups the ante with money and housing in Pitkin County to lure snow plow drivers

CDOT ups the ante with money and housing in Pitkin County to lure snow plow drivers

A CDOT snow plow pushes snow from the left lane onto Grand Avenue after a storm dumped a number of inches of snow in Glenwood and surrounding cities.
Chelsea Self/Glenwood Springs Put up Unbiased

PITKIN COUNTY — Because the Colorado Division of Transportation continues to face a scarcity of snow plow drivers, the company is providing month-to-month stipends of $1,000 for hire and plans to construct new housing in Basalt to draw workers 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 alleged 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 workers primarily based in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Rifle to plow and keep Freeway 82 from Carbondale to the Independence Cross 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 workforce technique, based on Elise Thatcher, CDOT communications supervisor.

“We will additionally usher in folks from Grand Junction, individuals who do upkeep on tools 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 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 situated 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 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 extra 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’ skill to hire or purchase properties the place they reside and work, Colorado continues to lack a listing of properties that the allowance can not tackle.

Because of this, CDOT is establishing new workforce housing that can enable important workers to reside inside half-hour of their assigned service space.

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

CDOT is within the preliminary planning part of this undertaking and there are at present no formal funding or proposals, Thatcher stated.

“CDOT’s dialogue consists of native stakeholders (metropolis, county, and different state businesses just like the Colorado Division of Pure Sources and the Colorado State Patrol),” she wrote in an e mail. -mail. “It is an enormous enterprise, and with our new elevated housing allowance, one thing we shall be frequently evaluating.”

CDOT was in a position to 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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