Columbia moves forward in blizzard cleanup

Friday, February 4, 2011 | 11:47 a.m. CST; updated 3:25 p.m. CST, Friday, February 4, 2011
Shay Hoos and Beau Ottofy use their cell phone cameras Friday to take pictures of a snow wall that was created in the Target parking lot after clearing the 17 inches of snow that hit Columbia on Feb. 1. Hoos and Ottofy said that they have been prowling the city checking out the snow piles and that this is by far the largest one they have found.

COLUMBIA — With major roadways cleared, the city is working on widening cleared paths on roadways and cleaning up cul-de-sacs.

“We made it through all the residential streets at this point,” said Jill Stedem, public information specialist at the Public Works Department. This includes all critical, first priority and second priority snow routes.

Stedem said that its aim is to go after streets in a cleanup effort while also widening them and not blocking driveways. She said that one of the goals today is to do cleanup work in cul-de-sacs, but that’s hard because there’s nowhere to put the plowed snow.

The crews, which will be using front end loaders and backhoes along with the city’s 18 snowplows, have about 500 miles of road to cover, Stedem said.

But people wondering when the swaths of uncleared sidewalks will be salted should not look to the city to do the job.

“Sidewalks are the responsibility of the property owners or residents,” Stedem said.

Massive snow piles line the medians of Forum Shopping Center on Friday after Tuesday's storm left Columbia with more than 17 inches of snow. With temperatures a bit higher and the sun out from behind the clouds, snow is slowly starting to melt and in some places is interfering with road pathways resulting in one way streets.
Cars parked in the Schnucks parking lot on Friday afternoon show the size of the massive snow piles present in several lots around town. Because of the snow that hit Columbia, maintenance crews have been working long hours to ensure clear paths for Columbia drivers and pedestrians.

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