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The price tag on winter: Looking at the cost of winter in Minnesota, Iowa

So far, it's cost the state of Minnesota $83 million. In Iowa, it's cost $39 million.

Posted: Mar 6, 2019 8:26 PM
Updated: Mar 7, 2019 7:17 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – It’s been a long winter for all of us, especially those who work to clear the roads.

There’s quite a few factors that go into cleaning up winter like crews, salt, and maintenance. All of that can add up.

When you think of all the plow operators working overtime, you probably assume the bill is racking up.

“The costs have got to be going up now,” Mark Earle, of Rochester, said. “Just because of the amount of snow we've had, just what it's going to take to remove it, so I have a feeling it's going to be right up there with cost.”

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, it’s cost the state of Minnesota $83 million so far this year as of Feb. 24.

That includes $59 million for plowing and material application, $13 million for equipment maintenance and system monitoring, and $11 million for anti-icing materials.

Cindy Morgan, MnDOT District 6 public engagement coordinator, said that’s 10-percent more than last year at this time. Because the budget is based on a 10-year average, Morgan said they’re not worried.

“Now if we don't get any more snow for the rest of the year, which I think there's a lot of folks who might like that, that average may even out then and we may end up below,” Morgan said.

No matter what’s in the bank, MnDOT will finish the job.

“So if we get one more snow storm, two, three, four more snow storms,” Morgan said, “we're still gonna be out there taking care of it.”

The total costs this year for the Iowa Department of Transportation to date has been $39.4 million.

The Iowa DOT has the Winter Cost Calculator, a tool that lets users see material, labor, and equipment costs.

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