FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – If a winter snow and ice storm rolls through this season, you may have a better chance of getting to the airport, and your flight may have a better chance of not being cancelled. It’s just getting out of your neighborhood that may not look any different.
Nearly one year after an ice storm shut down North Texas for days, tens of millions of dollars have been spent to keep the region’s major airport and highways open this winter. The major cities in North Texas though, Dallas and Fort Worth, did not make any winter weather investments.
TXDOT will spend $20 million over the next two years for Amey Consultants and Webber Construction to keep highways maintained, and clear this winter around Dallas. That includes I-20, I-30, I-35, I-45, I-635, and parts of US 75.
The deal, said TxDOT spokesman Ryan La Fontaine, will allow TxDOT to now refocus its 185 vehicles to other places in the district.
TxDOT’s inability to get to every road in a big storm was one of the reasons the City of Keller in Tarrant County, spent about $14,000 this year for two snow plow systems for its public works trucks. The city also decided to keep a minimum of 400 tons of sand on hand at all times to avoid running out during the winter.
City staff said at the time they didn’t want to be caught off guard by another big storm.
Neither Dallas or Fort Worth however, according to city spokesmen, added any equipment or supplies, or changed their winter weather plan for this season. A Fort Worth spokesman said the recent combination of the city streets and storm-water divisions would lead to better efficiency and communication during a storm.
DFW International Airport however, spent an additional $7 million on snow and ice removal equipment. The goal is to cut in half the amount of time it takes to clear a runway. The airport went over budget by $2.67 million last year, spending up to an hour just to get the airport open for an aircraft.
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