TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) said its staffing issues have gotten worse in recent years.

KDOT said staffing issues make for the possibility of highways not being cleared of ice and snow in a timely manner. KDOT said it’s currently about 25% short of its preferred number of its needed snowplow operators.

“KDOT field crews always do their best, but with less staff, it could cause delays to clear snow and ice from the highways,” said KDOT Director of Field Operations Clay Adams. “We are able to pull in crews from across the state to affected areas, but that’s not always possible depending on the scope and severity of winter storms.”

KDOT said it has already made preparations for snow and ice in Sept. and Oct. Salt sand and other materials are fully stocked maintenance on snowplows and other equipment is complete, according to a press release from KDOT.

“Motorists can do their part to be prepared by checking on road conditions and weather forecasts before heading out and possibly altering or delaying travel plans,” KDOT Secretary Calvin Reed said. “Plan ahead and stay informed – these are key to helping you stay safe.”

Equipment operators must have or be willing to obtain a CDL. KDOT offers training assistance to applicants who are willing to obtain a CDL. Equipment operators in Shawnee County can earn a base pay of $17.85 per hour up to $19.16 per hour.

To apply with KDOT visit the job portal by clicking here.

To stay up to date on the latest local news, click here to download the KSNT News app for IOS or Android.