2012-03-08 / Local & State

PennDOT Says Winter Road Costs May Yield Surplus

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said Monday that it has burned through barely half its budget for this winter’s plowing, road salt and related costs, but it's too early to know whether a mild winter will result in a surplus.

Agency spokesman Steve Chizmar said PennDOT had spent $112 million of its $216 million winter services budget through Friday, but that doesn't ake into account salt supply and plowing contracts that haven't been fully paid.

“The jury’s still out,” Chizmar said. “It’s only March, and historically, some of our biggest storms have come in this month.”

He said savings are realized by county, and the heavily populated southeastern Pennsylvania counties haven't needed a lot of plowing this winter. In other parts of the state, the costs are much closer to the budgeted amounts.

“The books are still kind of open,” Chizmar said. “We really can't say how much money is going to be saved in the end.”

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