Mass. Snow Plow Contractors Balk at Gear Upgrades

Fri September 24, 2010 - Northeast Edition

BOSTON (AP) The state has asked the hundreds of private snow plow drivers it hires every winter to keep the state’s highways clear to upgrade their equipment, but the contractors are balking, saying the changes are too expensive.

State transportation officials want the contractors to invest in side-wing plows that clear more snow, and more efficient salt spreading devices.

Matthew Frazier, president of the Massachusetts Snow and Ice Contractors Association, told The Boston Globe the upgrades could cost as much as $20,000 per vehicle. He said the contractors don’t trust the state’s promise to make up for cost of the new equipment by paying a higher hourly rate.

State highway administrator Luisa Paiewonsky said the changes are intended to save taxpayers’ money.