City clearing streets with snow alert in place
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Like many other communities across the area Thursday, the City of Sioux Falls declared a snow alert. While it’s an important job to clear every street in the city with this much snow, it’s something they watch closely when declaring those alerts.
With a snow alert in Sioux Falls, that means each city zone will be seeing plows out until snow is cleared and remove from streets. That’s work is scheduled to go through Sunday, with all hands on deck to make quick work.
“This is 100 percent a public works effort, to get everyone working at public works down here to make sure we can clear the streets as quickly and efficiently as we possibly can.” Street Maintenance Supervisor Daniel Whipple said.
But Street Operations Manager Dustin Hansen said that alert is something they try not to call every time it snows, rather instead focusing on the city’s main snow routes.
“We’re a northern state. So typically northern states, we’re not going to always clear the streets. We’re always going to focus on those emergency routes, then we also have secondary routes.” Hansen said.
Part of that is due to cost. With every inch it snows in the city, it costs five and up to six digits to clear. That takes time and resources that over a season could add up.
“We typically will spend anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000 per inch to clear the streets. So it’s a lot of money to clean the whole city, so we want to be prudent with our dollars.” Hasnen said.
Hansen said that doesn’t mean they won’t clear snow as necessary, but rather try to be efficient with their given budget for the year.
“So we get that one, two, three inch snow, we may not clear the residential streets. We may go in and sand the hills and around stop signs, but it’s typically close to that four inch mark.” Hansen said.
Hansen said they’ll work to clear each of the zones as quickly as they can. That’s because like many others, they’re watching out for what could be an even bigger storm next week.
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