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Department of Public Works

Winter Storm Plowing Progress Report

 

Winter Storm Plowing Progress Report: 1/21/18

Thank you for your patience and support through our ongoing citywide snow clearing efforts. We would like to offer you an update on our around the clock operations from the recent winter storm.

SIDEWALKS

As of mid-day Monday, the City has plowed approximately 30% of our 130-mile sidewalk network and we are diligently working to complete the job. Most crew members were in tractors for 16 hours Sunday and most will be working similar hours until we finish. Given the powdery snow, the overall accumulation and the drifting conditions, we had to swap out plows for blowers on the sidewalk tractors. The tractors with blowers can only travel at 2-3 mph – a much slower speed than the tractors with the blades – so it takes us much longer to clear all sidewalks. We prioritize sidewalks along major corridors, adjacent to schools and senior centers, and downtown. Many sidewalks in residential areas have not been recently plowed, but we are coming. Additionally, given the drifting conditions, we are having to return to sidewalks along major roads and other key areas multiple times to keep them open. Furthermore, the tractors and the blower mechanisms are complex and we've had several break downs that our around-the-clock maintenance shop is repairing. It will likely take us until Wednesday to clear all sidewalks. Thank you for your understanding.

STREETS

Thank you everyone for minimizing travel during the storm and for removing parked cars on both Saturday and Sunday nights for the parking ban. Approximately 150 cars were towed Saturday night and 50 were towed on Sunday night – some past storms have required us to tow 400+ vehicles. The parking bans enable us to push snow back to the curb on our 95 miles of streets in a safe and efficient manner. The storm intensity and high wind conditions during the day on Sunday required our plow trucks to remain on the major roadways to keep these critical arteries open. This meant we were not able to plow many residential streets until Sunday night. Thank you for your understanding. Street maintenance crews will return to downtown around 2am tonight to remove snow, starting on Main St., and trucking it to our snow dump.

BACKGROUND

For storms of this magnitude, employees from Parks, Water, Wastewater, Traffic and Streets employees all contribute to the plowing effort. We have rotating shifts to keep our employees safe and to provide 24/7 coverage. Some staff sleep onsite or in area hotels during these storms to minimize commuting in challenging conditions. During the storm's peak on Sunday, even our managers were out plowing for most of the day. Our equipment maintenance shop that maintains the City's fleet also works through the night on these storms to repair trucks and tractors. There are often unexpected challenges and this storm was no different. On Saturday, we had to pull a few staff off of the plowing team to repair a water main break on Plattsburg Ave. The break was repaired around midnight on Saturday night, and after sleep the crew rejoined the plowing rotation.

REMAINING ISSUES

If there are ongoing plowing or sidewalk concerns, please report them on SeeClickFix or call us at 802-863-9094 extension 3. If you have any questions about our snow clearing operations, please feel free to email Robert Goulding at RGoulding@burlingtonvt.gov. Thank you for your patience and travel safely.

Press Release Date: 
01/21/2019
City Department: 
Public Works Department