City Notes: New Albany residents have role in clearing snow after winter storms
Maintaining more than 272 lane miles of roads definitely gets trickier during the winter months … and winter started early this year.
Our public service crews maintain neighborhood and commercial streets and even a sliver of highway, helping more than 5,000 students, 11,000 residents and 16,000 workers reach their destinations.
Whenever it snows, no matter the scale of the snowfall, our goal is to have every street cleared within 24 hours after the snow stops.
New Albany’s snow-removal priorities begin with clearing highways and our most highly traveled roadways and streets – emergency travel for fire, emergency medical and police personnel is the highest snow-removal priority.
The second priority is to facilitate traffic moving in and out of the city by clearing collector roads.
These typically are roadways which carry traffic in and out of residential areas, as well as those surrounding the school campus. Low-volume roadways, which consist of courts, alleys and other residential streets, are cleared last because they carry the lowest amount of traffic.
The number of trucks assigned and the plan implemented during any given storm is dependent on the severity of the event.
Snow-removal operations are scheduled for 24-hour service, and our crews work shifts in order to make roads safe and passable during these weather events. Before plowing, crews may spread salt and other de-icers to help prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement. During intense storms, the spreading of de-icers may be discontinued and crews will plow until such time as snowfall stops.
As the last step in the cleanup from a storm, the area of the street adjacent to the storm drain will be plowed back. This is done to allow melting materials to run off and ultimately reach the gutter. This will lessen the potential for icy patches that may occur during evening refreezing.
Here are ways our residents can help:
• Clear snow from your walkway. Kids on your street need your help to safely get to school.
• Shovel snow away from the street at driveways so that snow is less likely to get pushed back into your driveway by a snowplow.
• Clear snow in front of mailboxes to ensure mail delivery.
• Do not follow salt and plow trucks too closely, nor attempt to pass salt trucks from behind.
• Remove parked vehicles from streets when snow is forecasted so that snowplows can clear the entire street.
• Keep an eye on storm drains near your home and keep them clear of debris. This will lessen the chance of icy patches on your street.
• If traveling, allow more time to drive to your destination.
Mark Nemec is the public service director for the city of New Albany.