FDOT purchases snow plows for local area
Updated: Tuesday, March 18 2014, 07:43 PM CDT
Escambia County - Back in January our area literally turned into a winter wonderland. Most everything was stuck under layers of ice.
It made for good sledding and skating. But, it was also very dangerous. Roads and bridges were closed including Interstate 1, making it impossible to travel through Northwest Florida. Now, the Florida Department of Transportation has purchased equipment to help melt the ice if our area ever freezes again. But, many people say purchasing the equipment was a waste of money.
For days, roads and bridges were closed. Downtown Pensacola and other areas were deserted. Everyday life was put on pause while our area thawed out. It was something many of us Floridians had never seen before. Our road department's were not prepared for the freak freeze.
Now FDOT has purchased five snow plow attachments to be fitted on existing vehicles, ten salt spreaders, 4,400 gallons of potassium acetate, and 42 tons of salt. Costing the department nearly $90,000.
"They close the roads anyway when it freezes over, so nobody gets out and drives because none of us know how to, so I don't think it's that big of a deal," said David Sellers.
"A waste spend it on something else," said Ted Puryear.
The equipment is in a staging area in Panama City being fitted. FDOT representatives say the equipment is needed in case of future ice storms that way I-10 and other roads won't have to close.
"We got away from not having it before, so I don't think we need them," said Puryear.
So, what happens if we don't ever have the need for the equipment? A spokesperson for FDOT says the equipment will also be sent to other areas in mutual aid situations. And the the plows can be used after hurricanes clearing the road of sand and other debris.
"I think when you measure the benefits against the cost it doesn't way out," said Sellers.
Once the equipment is fitting they plan on spreading throughout Northwest Florida.