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Snow Storms Gnaw Away At DOT Budget

Derrick Coetzee
Flickr CC

  After a week jam-packed with winter-weather, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation says it’s eating its way through the snow removal budget for the year. The winter is only 65 percent finished, but the snow removal budget is already 80 percent gone.

“So $42 million dollar budget we’d spent $33 million dollars,” says DOT spokesman Bill Boynton, who notes that the legislature’s fiscal committee has already given the DOT a $2.25 million dollar transfer from the highway fund. “We’ll probably have to go back for more before we’re done this winter,” Boynton speculates.

Boynton says the 3-year rolling average for snowfall in a New Hampshire winter is 52 inches, but this year 67 inches have already fallen, but more importantly from a budget perspective, there have been more snow events than average as well.

And if you think the roads have been bumpy this year, you’re right.

“Potholes seem to be a national story right now, we’ve had them as early as January this year which is as early as we can remember,” says Boynton.

Normally, potholes are at their worst in late February and March, when the freeze thaw cycles accelerate.

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.
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