Missouri’s road cleanup crews could be in a major workforce dilemma this winter. The Missouri Department of Transportation has a shortfall of more than 400 plow truck drivers and heavy equipment operators.

Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Director Patrick McKenna briefs Capitol reporters in Jefferson City on June 25, 2020. Governor Parson listens (photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

During a legislative committee hearing, MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna says he is concerned about the shortage growing this winter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the snow and ice start flying, the impacts could trickle down to drivers out on the roadways.

“If we lose a crew, which knocks out a maintenance facility for a two-week period in the middle of winter, we could have a severe impact on the essential service we provide during winter to the traveling public. I would say that is my primary concern right now.”

MoDOT spokesman Matt Hiebert tells Missourinet the state has 80 counties with only one maintenance facility. In total, the department has 167 maintenance sites.

McKenna says the department is hiring plow truck drivers and heavy equipment operators. The workers handle things like plowing the snow and ice off roads, spreading salt and sand.

Copyright © 2020 · Missourinet