Central Oregon DailyTuesday night may be 1st big test of reduced snow plowing by...

Tuesday night may be 1st big test of reduced snow plowing by Oregon DOT

Tuesday night may be 1st big test of reduced snow plowing by Oregon DOT

Tuesday night may be 1st big test of reduced snow plowing by Oregon DOT

Oregon Department of Transportation road crews facing budget restrictions will see their first real test of winter weather as early as Tuesday night. A Winter Weather Advisory is expected to bring significant snow to the east slopes of the Cascades and some higher elevations in Central Oregon.

ODOT cites inflation and declining gas tax revenues because of electric vehicles and hybrids are the reasons they will be cutting back snow plow work on secondary highways.聽

Road crews have been prepping for weeks for the start of winter driving season.

鈥淲e鈥檙e doing things like putting plows on our trucks and stockpiling our sand.聽 We鈥檝e got crews up today putting those big snow poles on to road to Mt. Bachelor,鈥 ODOT Public Information Officer Kacey Davey said. 鈥淲e will just have less crew and we鈥檒l have less material, like less sand and deicer than we have in the past.鈥

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RELATED: Expect less snowplowing of road to Mt. Bachelor, other roads this winter

RELATED:聽ODOT: Central Oregon snowplow was passed by van doing 70 mph during storm

Drivers will almost certainly be able to get to Mt. Bachelor on Wednesday.

鈥淲e have crews who are already going to be on patrol tonight up on Mt. Bachelor,鈥 Davey said.

What may become more difficult as the season wears on is getting to some of your other favorite winter playgrounds.

鈥淲e have an agreement where we plow sno-parks, but that is as time allows. So sno-parks are definitely a lower priority than keeping our highways clear and we get to them when we have time,鈥 Davey said.

In its聽Level of Service Reduction statement last month, ODOT says some roads that were previously plowed up to four times per day may only be plowed once per day, if at all. Priority will be placed on Interstate 84 and U.S. 97, along with sections of U.S. 26 and U.S. 20.

ODOT says drivers will have a responsibility to be prepared, check conditions and be ready for delays. Those responsibilities may be more important than ever this winter.

鈥淵ou might see more snow and ice buildup on the roads than you have in the past.聽 You might be waiting longer for the road to open after there鈥檚 been a crash,鈥 Davey said.

ODOT urges drivers to carry a fully stocked emergency kit, including a phone charger and weather appropriate clothing 鈥 and to refuel or recharge their tanks often. Keep your tank at least half-full at all times, particularly if you get stranded.

ODOT is continuing to wait for the state legislature to clear a path for more funding. Possible fixes to the declining gas tax revenues that are being considered include a pay-per-mile fee and increases in fuel taxes to match inflation.

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