SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Transportation has been prepping its plows for the last several weeks ahead of the first snowfall. While the plows are ready, the agency is still hoping to hire more drivers.
“I’m a little concerned just with hiring. Hiring is short everywhere in Colorado, with CDOT, with other entities, but we’re ready. We’ll be prepared,” said Dean Decker, Senior Maintenance Supervisor for Silverthorne Area.
Decker has worked for the agency for nearly 30 years. He said hiring this year has been slow going. While he doesn’t believe it will interrupt normal operations, it may require him to take on more work.
“At least be prepared to work on our days off, and some extra hours, but nothing overboard,” he said.
CDOT hopes to fill more than 100 positions across the state, and despite more benefits than ever, turnout at recent career fairs has been poor.
Permanent positions include full benefits, worth an average of $16,669 per year, and some areas, like Decker’s territory, come with an additional housing stipend. After 28 years, Decker still loves the job and wishes others would give it a shot.READ MORE: Refresh Your Chain And Traction Law Knowledge Before Traveling Mountain Highways In Colorado
“Everyday is different, and you never know what’s going to happen,” he said. “I always look forward to the new season, new snow events, a lot happens especially this area. We have avalanche mitigation.”
Tuesday is scheduled to kick off the first of two big snowstorms in the high country. On Monday, CDOT issued a storm alert warning motorists that snowpacked and icy conditions were possible.
“We’re ready for shifts. Our guys are being sent home for their night shifts, our day shifts, our products are ready our trucks are ready,” said Decker.
On Sept. 29, CDOT launched a new, easy-to-use website as well as a new mobile “COtrip Planner” app that will allow motorists to safely plan their trip.
CDOT says travelers should be prepared for Chain and Traction Laws as they will likely be implemented.