Emergency funding from Oregon lawmakers means that Department of Transportation teams are at work, clearing roads of snow during this first major snowstorm of the season.
Back in September, ODOT warned that some secondary highways — such as Century Drive to Mt. Bachelor — would see reduced snow plow and maintenance activity due to less revenue. ODOT has cited reduced gas tax revenues and inflation as part of the problem.
But last month, Gov. Tina Kotek’s office announced that $19 million would be coming to ODOT for highway safety and maintenance and that the Legislature would back-fund the cost.
“With the extra money that came in from the governor, that’s allowed us to purchase more materials,” said ODOT spokesperson Kacey Davey. “And one big thing that it’s doing is authorizing a lot of overtime. So during the storm, crews will be working a lot of overtime so they can stay on the road, 24/7.”
Davey said that even though trucks are plowing and sanding, the high winds currently being experienced in the mountains are likely going to push snow right back on the roads during this storm.