BOZEMAN — As forecasts predict that snow is just around the corner for Bozeman, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) prepares to start snow plowing, despite staffing issues.
"Currently we have 12 snowplows for the Bozeman-Gateway area. To be fully staffed we would need closer to 28," explained Ted Jones, MDT maintenance chief.
To account for staffing issues, Jones says they’ve come up with a few solutions to ensure roads get plowed.
"We’ve got a plan in place to recruit from other districts around the state to bring in volunteers that have agreed to come in and start snow plowing with the Bozeman division," he said.
MDT plans to schedule volunteers through April to help cover shortfalls in staffing all season.
"We’re preparing as we speak to get ready for the upcoming weather this week. Getting snowplows mounted and ready to go and sand piles stocked and ready. Just trying to get the people in place to put in that equipment and get them on the road," Jones said.
Jones advises commuters on safe winter driving: "Be prepared, check before you go. Check the weather forecast, use the MDT 511 map. Give the plows room to work and be aware of rapidly changing weather patterns. Make driving your vehicle priority number one."
As MDT works through staffing issues, Jones says, "There will probably be a slight delay in getting to some of the roads just because of the lack of personnel but we just ask for everybody’s patience. We’ll get to those roads."
If you’re interested in becoming a plow driver, check out the MDT career website.