ATLANTA (WAOK/AJC)-The state of Georgia has spent more than $2.5 million in preparation for possible future snow storms.
Officials of the Department of Transportation (DOT) said they wanted to be prepared with more snow plows and equipment in better condition.
Last year, January’s devastating ice storm shut down most of metro Atlanta’s road grid for about five days. DOT said that it did all it could in the massive and bizarre storm as critics contended the state and local agencies didn’t plan and coordinate well enough.
DOT has spent more than $2.5 million to replace exhausted equipment by adding spreaders and 112 plows, Pitts said. It is also adding 11 more storage locations for the salt and gravel mixture that DOT trucks spread, so that trucks will not have to travel so far. Some of the additions are in place, and some should arrive in November.
In addition, the agency has worked with state and local agencies to coordinate better and now have a computerized map that will show all officials top priority roads and locations for ice and snow clearance.
DOT’s goal is to keep two lanes passable on interstates at all times.
DOT officials said that although the new equipment will help, it’s not enough, for it still has more than 800 maintenance vehicles that have more than 200,000 miles on them, said Tony Collins, the director of field services.
“We’re funding this stuff at the minimal level, the most critical needs,” DOT’s interim commissioner, Keith Golden, told the DOT board Thursday. However, he said, “there are a lot of needs.”