Iowa DOT impacted by supply chain shortages

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 3:15 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Department of Transportation is preparing for the approaching winter weather. Like it or not, it won’t be long before we’ll see snow plows driving along the roads of Eastern Iowa.

The Iowa OT is authorized to bring on 633 seasonal employees for winter maintenance roles, so far they have only filled 35 of those roles. They began filling those roles on October 15.

“Always have concerns about, you know, the winter, what it’s going to bring how that’s going to impact us from a staffing perspective. But, you know, we’re, we’re seeing some of the same challenges that other areas of businesses, both government and private industry are seeing from a staffing level,” said Craig Bargfrede, Iowa DOT Winter Operations Administrator.

Bargfrede says they have about 1000 full-time staff to help out this winter. He also says at this point, the DOT doesn’t expect staffing shortages to impact their ability to deal with winter.

One of the biggest issues facing the DOT, and many other businesses nationwide, is disruptions to the global supply chain.

“The biggest issue that we’ve seen is in the area of repair parts. We’re having some various challenges there,” said Bargfrede.

The wait time for some products is as late as April 2022.

“In talking to one of our suppliers actually this morning, by putting an order in today for some additional plow blades. They’re not guaranteeing me delivery until April of next year,” said Bargfrede. “Depending upon how the winter goes, that could be, could be a challenge for us as we go down the road, but we have other alternatives we can look at.”

The Iowa DOT says the state has a great supply of salt going into the winter season. Bargfrede says they are stocked up with about 228,000 tons of salt, and garages are at 100 percent capacity.

To apply for a seasonal position with the Iowa DOT click here.

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