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DOT has spent $2.4M on snow cleanup so far
Last year, the DOT topped almost $1.4 million in Northeast Georgia
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The Georgia Department of Transportation has shattered a record of weather cleanup costs, at least in Northeast Georgia.

The department has piled up nearly $2.4 million in expenses associated with clearing interstates and state routes in Gainesville-based District 1, spokeswoman Teri Pope said Tuesday.

The cost breakdown is $561,034, personnel; $964,244, equipment operation; and $920,976, materials.

Also, employees have spent 25,206 hours working on the roads.

Last year, the DOT spent almost $1.4 million in Northeast Georgia and that was a record-setting amount, Pope said.

Cleanup in previous years cost about $500,000.

Previous totals don't specify equipment costs, but even excluding that amount, this year's costs so far would be about $1.5 million.

Last week's snowstorm, which dumped 6-8 inches across the area and paralyzed traffic for several days, cost the DOT about $1.5 million, including $323,305 for personnel, $636,759 for equipment operation and $534,850, materials.

Employees spent 14,488 hours working on the roads between Jan. 8 and Saturday, Pope said.

Crews used 2,851 tons of salt, 5,938 tons of stone and 23,155 pounds of calcium chloride.

So far this winter, which also featured a rare snowfall on Christmas Day, they have used 5,221 tons of salt, 10,486 tons of stone and 26,156 pounds of calcium chloride.

Last year, crews used 2,904 tons of salt and 6,382 tons of stone.

Pope didn't have figures Tuesday on how much money the DOT has budgeted for winter weather in District 1 this year.

Statewide, winter costs could exceed $6 million, said David Spear, DOT spokesman in Atlanta.

State Transportation Board Chairman Rudy Bowen and DOT Commissioner Vance C. Smith Jr. are set to speak to reporters this morning in Atlanta on the department's "response to last week's snow and ice event," Spear said.

They also will discuss "lessons learned from that event to be incorporated into future such responses," he said.

In a reversal of normal winter weather, metro Atlanta "bore the brunt (of last week's snow) because they got so much ice, over 2 inches thick in some areas," Pope said last week.

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