Officials estimate the amount of money the state has spent on clearing snow and ice from Arkansas highways this winter is approaching $10 million, reports the Associated Press. Highway and Transportation Department spokesman Glenn Bolick says if another significant winter storm hits Arkansas, the amount could exceed the $11.5 million spent during the 2010 season.
The agency budgets $5 million annually for snow and ice removal. When the cost eclipses that amount, less money is available for maintenance activities like filling in potholes left in the wake of snow and ice.
Department spokesman David Nilles told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that maintenance projects like ditch clearing and shoulder repair may be delayed. A winter storm walloped the state Feb. 9, dumping about 2 feet of snow on northwestern Arkansas and contributing to five deaths.