Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pa. Led the Way in Costs of Snow Removal

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pa. Led the Way in Costs of Snow Removal

Article excerpt

With warm weather finally here, and birds chirping, and grass greening and blossoms blooming, leave it to some killjoys to try to drag us back to winter.

That's what the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials did this week, releasing a survey of what states spent fighting the extreme weather of the winter just past.

Twenty-three states responding to the survey spent a combined $1.1 billion on personnel and materials to keep highways and roads open and safe during the long and brutal winter, and Pennsylvania led the way among them, spending $272 million, according to the survey. The state put down a million tons of salt and 500,000 tons of other anti-skid material, expending 2.5 million man-hours, the association reported.

"The 23 surveyed states spent more than a billion dollars and eight million work hours this winter season. That's indicative of the amount of resources needed and the commitment and dedication displayed by state DOTs," said Bud Wright, association executive director.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokeswoman Erin Waters-Trasatt said the state had budgeted $203 million for winter maintenance, based on expenditures from years past.

Given the weather, it's not surprising that the state spent 34 percent more than it had expected. Much of the state exceeded average snowfall totals for the season, including Pittsburgh, which had 47.5 inches, about 6 inches above normal.

Four Pennsylvania cities made the top 50 in the Golden Snow Globe tabulation of the nation's snowiest cities of 100,000 population and above. Erie was sixth, failing to defend its 2013-14 title as the snowiest place in the U.S. despite enduring 110.3 inches, about 9 inches above average.

Allentown checked in at No. 22 with 50.1 inches, nearly 17 more than normal, followed by Pittsburgh at No. 24 and Philadelphia at No. 41 with 27 inches, about 4.5 more than what's typical.

State College (52 inches, more than 6 above average) and Harrisburg (39. …

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