Snow is in the forecast for Iowa as early as Tuesday. While you’re tuning up your snowblower in anticipation of clearing your sidewalk and driveway this winter, the man in charge for all the state roadways says the equipment is ready to go.
Dennis Burkheimer is the winter operations administrator for the Iowa Department of Transportation. Burkheimer says all of the garages are full of salt, with 190,000 tons ready to go, and all the trucks have the snowmoving equipment on them.
Burkheimer has to prepare to clear 9,400 miles of roadways, which costs a little more than your snow shovel. He says they have an annual budget of 34 to 35-million dollars for the staffing and materials needed during the winter.
While some 900 state trucks sit at the ready to clear the roadways, Burkheimer says you never know if they’re going to be called, or just sit in the garage. Burkheimer says 2001 was one of the worst years in recent history, and last year there was the ice storm in eastern Iowa and the blizzard in western Iowa, along with substantial snowfall statewide.
Burkheimer says there are 12-hundred equipment operators at the 110 maintenance garages ready to go to work if there is snow and ice in the state. To find current road conditions, log on to the DOT road conditions website .