MO Statehouse
4:21 pm
Fri February 4, 2011

Snow removal in Mo. will likely cost more than $8 million

The state of Missouri will likely spend more than $8 million removing snow from highways that fell during this week's major winter storms.

As of Thursday, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) crews have spread more than 20,000 tons of salt and other materials on roads, and have put in more than 40,000 hours of overtime.

The price tag so far:  More than $5 million.  Don Hillis is Director of System Management for MoDOT.

"We haven't quite got all the accounting done on this, but it's gonna be a large cost," Hillis said.  "When we get everything figured out, I think it's gonna be between $8 (million) and  $10 million dollars."

Hillis says a portion of the total cost could be reimbursed by the federal government if the state is declared a federal disaster area.  He adds that Missouri sets aside on average $42 million a year for snow removal.

"Some years (the cost) is less than that, some years it's more than that," Hillis said.  "I don't believe that we've busted our budget at this point, but I believe that this storm is gonna put us closer to what we would normally budget for snow removal."

The state spent $53 million removing snow from Missouri highways last winter.