DOT official: November storm cost $1.1 million; recent storm should be similar

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The recent snowstorm in South Dakota is shaping up to be a lot like the three-day November 29-31 storm, said Craig Smith, Director of Operations for the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

That November storm cost the SD DOT about $1.1 million, Smith said. The recent storm should have a similar cost.

Smith broke-down the major costs from November to give the public an idea of what costs may be for the Dec. 28-30 storm.

The biggest expense was for the salt, sand and mix spread such as liquid salt brine, at $489,000. Of that, $440,000 was for salt, about $4,000 was for sand and $45,000 for the liquid salt brine mix.

Salt costs are higher than in prior years, Smith said. The cost of salt this month is about $80 a ton, he said.

The state DOT used 116 tons of a sand abrasive and 5,399 tons of salt. Also, 158,400 gallons of liquid brine and 20,400 gallons of liquid mag chloride were used.

Add another $236,000 in labor cost. The cost includes regular and overtime cost, Smith said. DOT employees spent 5,783 hours working in the storm.

The storm caused about $350,000 in equipment expenses. Smith said those expenses include fuel, mileage costs and wear and tear.

A separate repair, or wear and tear, cost is the $65,000 needed to replace cutting edge blades on snowplows.

The cutting edge blade is a metal blade attached to snow plow wings and other areas. Smith said the cutting edge blade protects the snowplow. It causes the sparks to fly when the snowplow is working on the road, Smith said.

Those are the major costs associated with the November storm, Smith said.

The state has roughly 400 snow plows with roughly 400 drivers, Smith said. About 360 drivers are full time while 50 to 60 are seasonal or part time drivers.

The state DOT is responsible for 18,397 lanes of traffic or about 7,800 miles of state roads, Smith said.

During the November storm, the plow trucks drove 177,900 miles because of multiple passes on roads.

Drivers are assigned to specific road areas. They clean sections in rotations of about two to four hours, Smith said.

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