UDOT: This is the biggest winter in recent memory

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jan 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-28 19:28:26-05

SALT LAKE CITY --The Utah Department of Transportation spokesperson said this is the biggest winter in recent memory, and right now the department’s chief concern is making sure their employees are getting enough rest.

John Gleason, Utah Department of Transportation spokesman, said word crews worked through the night on Sunday and into Monday to keep roads clear, and he said they expect to be working hard through the coming storms.

"This has been the biggest winter that we’ve had in recent memory here, especially with the icy conditions,” Gleason said. “We've had to have a lot of our guys out around the clock, and now getting them rested up becomes important, especially because we're expecting another round tomorrow. We have all of our resources out. It becomes a round the clock type of an event."

Gleason said last night’s storm warranted having all of Salt Lake City’s snowplows be called into use, partly because of the rapid speed of the snowfall.

“At a certain point we had 2 to 3 inches falling an hour, and that amount falling that fast, you’re going to have problems no matter how many plows you have out on the roads,” he said. “We were out all night. It’s been a wild winter, we’ve had storm after storm. Our guys haven’t gotten a lot of sleep, but they live for this opportunity and want to make it as safe possible.”

Gleason said UDOT spends about $1 million for each storm, and they budget for 20-25 storms per year. They are within budget so far into the year.

Gleason said they expect more storms are on the way, and he said people should slow down and use caution during winter conditions. He said those who are in fender benders should pull off onto the shoulder of the road as far as they are able.