Weather Freezes Roads, Eats Up MDOT Budget - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Weather Freezes Roads, Eats Up MDOT Budget

INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) -- Constant snow and continual bitter cold temperatures quickly turn interstates into ice rinks.

"You may be driving under control, but you're not going to be able to stop," said Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth of the Ingham County Sheriff's Office.

Dash Came video from the Ingham County Sheriff's Office shows the danger first hand. An Ingham County deputy was driving on the expressway when the car in front of him hit black ice, slid out of control, spun around and crashed into a snow bank.

"It's treacherous and people need to use extra caution. In this video, the people in front of our deputy are only going about 50 miles per hour in a 70 zone, but clearly that was too fast," Wriggelsworth said.

The roads aren't just taking a toll on drivers, officials at the Michigan Department of Transportation said they're wearing on their workers and eating up the state's budget. 

"This points out that this costs real money. The number of hours people are spending on the roads, the toll it takes on the drivers, the salt usage, the sand usage, the fuel usage for plows, I mean, it's huge. This is going to be a tough year for the budget," said Jeff Cranson, MDOT's communications director.

Add all that together, and MDOT officials said winter 2014 could cost nearly $120 million, which is nearly double what the state spent in 2012.

"This is only late January, we've still got February and March to go. If the polar vortex continues to grip us, you're only going to see those numbers go up and up," Cranson said.

If this wicked weather doesn't lighten up, costs will continue to sky rocket and some summer projects will take a hit.

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