Snow removal crews focus on cul-de-sacs and intersections

Monday, February 7, 2011 | 3:07 p.m. CST; updated 7:33 p.m. CST, Monday, February 7, 2011

COLUMBIA — Snow removal crews don't plan on clearing additional lanes on residential streets they've already plowed. The city's focus has shifted to intersections and cul-de-sacs.

"We're trying to avoid blocking mailboxes and driveways where people have dug themselves out," Jill Stedem, public information specialist of the Columbia Public Works Administration, said Monday.

City crews will be focusing on cleanup work at intersections as well as the 1,100 cul-de-sacs that have been difficult for snow removal crews to get to, Stedem said.The city snowplows use GPS to tell which streets have not been plowed.

Crews had difficulty finding somewhere to put the snow from the cul-de-sacs. Because of the limited room to maneuver, front-end loaders and backhoes were being used to clear them.

"It is a slow process because there is so much snow to move," Stedem said.

If temperatures rise as expected late this week, crews will focus again on residential areas, Stedem said. If Columbia receives more snow, however, crews will be pulled from their current areas. 

"If we get more snowfall, like they are calling for, our crews will be pulled back to priority roads and make sure they do not refreeze," Stedem said.

Boone Quarries, a private business, allowed Columbia to dump the cleared snow from the downtown area on its property without cost to the city.

A number of phone calls have been made to 911 about the cul-de-sacs and residential areas around Columbia. Stedem asked residents to leave the phone lines open for emergencies and public safety concerns.

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