State’s industrial snow blowers take on highway shoulders

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PLAINVILLE--Connecticut's Department of Transportation is enlisting 12 industrial snow-blowers to complete the second phase of snow removal, clearing highway shoulders and break down lanes.

The snowblowers can remove 1,500 tons of snow per hour per machine, DOT spokesperson Kevin Nursick said. "We set up an echelon where we have dump trucks set up and the snow blower will literally throw the snow into the back of these dump trucks," Nursick said.

The process was not always so efficient. Two years ago, DOT used frontloaders to slowly pick up snow from the side of highways.

"Literally, scoop by scoop remove the snow from the shoulder areas," Nursick said.

The snow blowers are coming into action after the state's third major storm, and there's still more possible snow on the way.

Nursick said roughly $29 million of the state's $32 million snow budget has already been spent and DOT crews are exhausted.

"If these folks don't make it into work we don't get anywhere. So, they've got a very heavy responsibility on their shoulders and they always come through us and we appreciate it," Nursick said.