Wednesday, January 19, 2011 | 5:39 p.m. CST;
updated 1:26 p.m. CST, Thursday, January 27, 2011
COLUMBIA — With Columbia bracing to receive 6 to 8 inches of snow tonight and tomorrow, Columbia Public Works Department was prepared to focus primarily on clearing snow from "priority" roads.
It's a question of overtime. When more than 4 inches of snow accumulates, snowplow drivers often have to work long hours to clear the most important roads, said Jill Stedem, public information specialist with the Columbia Public Works Department.
But public works has a set budget, and the department strives to avoid paying excessive overtime hours by not plowing many neighborhood roads , Stedem said.
Stedem said some citizens expect the roads to be cleared down to the pavement, but with 18 trucks to cover roughly 500 miles of road, that is not always possible.
“Public Works’ goal has always been to make sure roads are safe and passable,” she said.
With temperatures expected to drop below zero Thursday night, Stedem said the department plans to monitor the refreezing of roads, especially bridges and intersections.
At the request of citizens, she said public works no longer uses cinder ash but a salt and calcium chloride mixture for ice and snow treatment.
A bicycle rider pedals past Jesse Hall on Wednesday.
A snow plow clears Eighth Street on Wednesday night after the storm began. The forecast calls for 6 to 8 inches of snow through Thursday. The District is considered a critical plow zone by the city.
Cars pass through the intersection of Tenth and Cherry streets where snow was just beginning to accumulate on Wednesday.
Snow accumulates on top of the Thomas Jefferson statue in the Francis Quadrangle Wednesday at MU. Six to eight inches of snow are expected in Columbia on Wednesday and Thursday.
Snowfall accumulates on top of the Truman statue Wednesday at MU.
Evening commuters travel down a snowy Broadway on Wednesday after snow began to fall.
A man ice skates on Stephens Lake on Wednesday at Stephens Lake Park. Columbia is expecting 6 to 8 inches of snow Wednesday through Thursday.
Olivia Gill tastes some fresh snowflakes on her glove on Wednesday at Stephens Lake Park. Olivia, her sister and their father visited the park to play in the falling snow.
Pedestrians passing Reynolds Journalism Institute leave footprints in the newly fallen snow on Wednesday.
Adam Cater takes cover under an umbrella in the snowfall on Wednesday on Ninth Street.
Lyn Hall, 46, of Columbia loads a shovel and ice scraper into her car outside the Walmart off Conley Road on Wednesday. Hall said she didn't have a shovel when the last snow storm hit and had to call into work because she couldn't get there.
Jeff Weaver, owner of Bambino's Restaurant, begins salting the sidewalks in front of his restaurant on Broadway. Weaver says he "learned his lesson" from the last snowfall when he didn't salt the walkway before the snow accumulated.
Bill Berg chooses a new ice scraper on Wednesday at the Westlake Ace Hardware on Business Loop I-70.
Robert Hostetter, operator for Boone County Public Works, positions the front-end loader in front of a salt bay at the Boone County Public Works salt facility. Hostetter said the crew has been working since morning to load salt into trucks in preparation for snow.
Robert Hostetter, operator for Boone County Public Works, uses a front-end loader to scoop salt from the 400-ton pile at the Boone County Public Works salt facility off U.S. 63 on Wednesday.
Robert Hostetter, operator for Boone County Public Works, readies to load a truck with salt at the Boone County Public Works salt facility off U.S. 63 on Wednesday. Hostetter and the rest of the crew are preparing for 4 to 6 inches of snow for Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service.
John Purves considers a variety of snow shovels at Westlake Ace Hardware on Business Loop I-70 in preparation for the impending snow. He previously had been using a garden shovel for clearing snow, but said, "It's less work when you have a proper shovel."
MU senior Emylee Larson walks past the Francis Quadrangle columns on her way to class Thursday. Columbia received 8.7 inches of snow according to the National Weather Service.
Sasha Goodnow, 23, and Mark Hampton, 27, enjoy coffee outside of Coffee Zone Thursday. Goodnow said if the weather is nice, she and Hampton will take a walk after coffee.
Ed Carter, 39, an employee for All Star Lawn Care, uses a shovel to thrust snow off a sidewalk on Walnut Street Thursday. "Snow on the ground, money in my pocket," Carter said.