DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Department of Transportation is getting its fleet of plows ready for the impending snow. The agency is facing a challenge to having enough drivers to run all the plows.

(credit: CBS)

CDOT said the staffing shortage means plow drivers from the Front Range will be redirected to handle the big snow in the mountains. This isn’t an unusual change, to redirect staff to where they are needed most, but this time it might be more noticeable.

The majority of CDOT plow drivers will be in the mountains Thursday night into Friday morning. That will leave a smaller fleet in the Denver metro area.

(credit: CBS)

This time, it won’t make such an impact because the Denver metro area is only expected to receive about one inch of snow.

CDOT normally operates at a 10% vacancy rate, but now the agency is claiming closer to 18%. CDOT believes they will have the road cleared for drivers even with the plow driver shortage.

(credit: CBS)

“Very rarely do we have a storm that hits every square foot of our state. Every storm we ever get, we are moving resources. We are moving people to where the storm is coming. We have these pre-storm meetings where we talk about how we are going to approach that. We have always had to figure out do we need more resources here? Do we pull them from there? We have always done that. We are just now having to be a little extra,” said Jared Fiel with CDOT.

During the past few months of unusually dry weather in Colorado, CDOT crews have been able to concentrate on other projects instead of plowing snow. Crews were able to complete paving projects, fix bridges and add guard rails.

Jennifer McRae