By JOHN FLESHERAssociated Press
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - As spring officially begins, officials across much of the nation are still paying the bills for keeping roads clear during the cold, snowy winter.
From the Great Plains to New England, many state and local governments have blown their budgets for plowing, salting and other seasonal road maintenance. Arkansas has spent $18 million, three times more than during the typical winter. Illinois is 200 percent over its three-year average. Virginia expects to spend $150 million more than it budgeted.
James Brooks of the National League of Cities says the ferocious winter dealt a severe blow to municipal budgets, just as they were emerging from the recession.
Many officials say they'll have to make up for the extra spending by cutting back on summer maintenance such as repaving.Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.