Snowplow Driver Shortages

As the wintry weather arrives in Wyoming, WYDOT is experiencing a shortage of snow plow drivers. Our Kimberly Barroteran tells us about their efforts to clear the states roads.

WYDOT stated in a press release that they have experienced staffing and supply chain challenges, including a shortage of snowplow drivers in the state. Senior public relations specialist for WYDOT District 2 Jeff Goetz says they are aiming to meet their snowplow priority plan despite these obstacles.

“We’re short maintenance workers. We are short of engineers. you know, we’re having a labor shortage just like a lot of other companies and agencies are. But given that we’re working on right now, ways to kind of make up for that. So we’re talking about moving crews around to where they’re needed, even if it’s over district boundaries. You know, so if there’s a storm in Gillette and they need help, we’ll do our best to get plow drivers up there.”

While Casper and Cheyenne isn’t seeing as many snowplow driver shortages, other areas in the state, such as Rock Springs and Muddy Gap, among others, are. Drivers may experience increased winter hazards in those areas.

“Wherever that is we’ll be moving that those drivers around as much as we can and as needed but no matter what, like I said, if we have one person or we have a full staff, we’re going to do the best we can.”

And as WYDOT is experiencing these challenges, they’d like to urge drivers to be cautious on the road while snowstorms roll in. Goetz says warm surface temperatures of the highways are creating slick road conditions.

“It happens first over bridges because that cold air gets underneath the bridges, freezes the concrete, and then turns whatever moisture is on there to ice. So that I guess in these first storms, you really want to pay attention not to necessarily the snow that’s on the road, but the wetness that you see on the road, because a lot of times that that will turn to ice and it may catch you off guard. So just be aware of that, especially as you’re crossing bridges.”

Kimberly Barroteran, Your Wyoming Link, Casper.