DPW, cost of equipment to clear roads has skyrocketed

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HENRIETTA, N.Y. With the snow, there will be plenty of clean-up.

News10NBC learned the cost of equipment to clear the roads has skyrocketed. The superintendent of highways in Henrietta said they started treating the roads at 6 pm right before the snow started. Now they have adequate trucks to get the job done.

However he says they could benefit from having more trucks which have been challenging to get right now. Staying ahead of the extreme winter weather has gotten expensive. DPW superintendent Tim Lessing says in 2001 he paid $135,000 for two trucks.

“One was $240,000, that’s a 245% increase in 22 years,” he said.

But that doesn’t stop them from making these roads safe for drivers. They watch the weather, keep an eye on the radar, and watch traffic cameras. They have 22 to 25 trucks and drivers that cover 440 lane miles. They start by treating the main roads with salt

“We do have to get out quickly, but we can’t cover every road all in one shot,” he said. “Even with 22 to 25 trucks, it’s going to take us an hour and a half to cover all 440 lane miles with salt.”

“This is where Henrietta stores up to 3,000 tons of salt,” he said. “Now because we’ve had such a mild winter they’ve used less than half.”

After the roads are salted once the snow reaches two inches they can begin plowing. Tim says these trucks have a lifetime of about 20 years and if they have the staff to repair it they can go another five years.

“I ordered a truck last year at the end of January, beginning of February,” he said. “I’m still waiting on the arrival of that truck to replace one of the older ones that we have. So we do have a fair amount of repairs once the trucks reach 20 years old.”

Just like a lot of businesses across the country Henrietta DPW does have open positions and is hiring. Two important driver safety tips Tim mentioned are getting all-season tires but most importantly making sure your tire tread is more than 2/32 of an inch.