The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) is warning drivers that they’ll have to endure slick and slushy roads for a longer period of time this winter due staffing shortages.

On November 9, KDOT issued a statement on how winter operations will be affected by a shortage of equipment operators.

“The agency has dealt with reduced staffing in the past, but the shortages are greater this year. KDOT is about 30% short of snowplow operators needed to be fully staffed in offices across the state … These shortages create the potential for highways to not be cleared of snow and ice as quickly as in the past,” KDOT said.

KDOT says that they’re working to keep roads safe by ensuring that all workers who have a CDL are deployed as plow drivers. Officials also say that they will pay for CDL training for selected job applicants upon hiring.

“KDOT is facing significant staffing shortages in some areas and will work proactively to clear Kansas highways by shifting crews to affected areas and pretreating highways and bridges whenever possible,” said Secretary Julie Lorenz. “Our snowplow operators work 12- hour shifts and do their best to keep the roads open and the public moving.” 

Officials are asking anyone who is interested in working for KDOT to visit http://jobs.ks.gov.

KDOT is also asking drivers to visit www.KanDrive.org for weather and travel information before traveling.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) made a similar statement earlier this week. WSDOT said that they are short about 300 employees due to “pandemic staffing issues” and therefore will not be able to offer the level of service that they’ve provided in years past.

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