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Kansas faces staffing shortage for winter highway clearing

Kansas faces staffing shortage for winter highway clearing
The entrance to the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka is shown during a snowy evening.

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas is facing a staffing shortage in its Department of Transportation that could slow the clearing of highways in winter storms, the agency said Tuesday.

The department said it is about 30% short of being fully staffed with snowplow operators across the state. The agency said the staffing shortage is worse this year than it has been in the past.

Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz said the staffing shortage means that with inclement weather, some highways might not be cleared as quickly as they have been in the past. She said she’s warning motorists now so they can plan ahead or alter travel plans when the state faces winter storms.

She said the department also plans to shift its crews to the regions affected worst by storms and to pretreat highways and bridges whenever possible. She said snowplow operators work 12-hour shifts already.

Lorenz said the department also will deploy all employees with commercial driver’s licenses and hire seasonal employees to help clear highways.

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The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. The Trucker Media Group is subscriber of The Associated Press has been granted the license to use this content on TheTrucker.com and The Trucker newspaper in accordance with its Content License Agreement with The Associated Press.
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