By John Shumway

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the snow falls around us, and we sit in heavy, slow traffic, we just want the road clear, NOW.

It is the scene we have played out over and over since Christmas, and as the snow has piled up to more than 52 inches, so have the bills to clear it.

“About $3.8 million more this year than we did last year on winter services,” says PennDOT District 11 Assistant Executive Angelo Pampena, who is in charge of maintenance for the three-county district.

Pittsburgh has been shelling it out in abundance as well. Public Works Director Mike Gable says the biggest hit is in his overtime budget.

“Right now, we’re a little in the red. We’ve been putting a lot of people out that we normally wouldn’t do, so my premium budget is a little banged up right now,” Gable said.

It’s a struggle for every municipality, and the fresh eight inches that hit the region on Wednesday only makes it more difficult. Those in charge of budgets are faced with deciding what they are not going to be able to afford later this year.

Gable says, “We might have scheduled clean-up along the roadsides that we normally would do on the weekend so we don’t interfere with traffic, or just sprucing up the area, or we might do extra pothole patching.”

Their all items that might have to be delayed.

At PennDOT, Pampena says it means delaying projects it wanted to do this summer.

“We’ll have to make some cuts and adjustments, and maybe push some things off into the next fiscal year,” says Pampena.

It’s too early right now to know what work will be put back in the drawer.