Local Road Crews Prepare Plows, Extra Workers for Winter Storm

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

Winter Clean-up Budget:

Lansing - $1.9 million/yr.

East Lansing - $300,000/yr.

The salt is piled high and the plows are ready to go.

At the Lansing Public Service Department, it's just business as usual in December.

"We already have crews planned to come on at midnight, tonight. Beefing up our normal third shift," said Chad Gamble, Public Service Director and Chief Operating Officer for Lansing.

The city will start by covering its nine salt routes, adding more staff as the snow accumulates. If the salt isn't working, the plows come out.

"We will then go into dropping the blades and actually go into a major street route," said Gamble. "If the accumulation gets increasingly higher in the neighborhoods, we'll go into a full plow of the entire city."

That mark typically falls on 3.5 to 4 inches, depending on how wet the snow is. In East Lansing, it's the police department who makes the call.

"When they see the roads are getting slippery, they'll call our on-call staff, then we'll have people come in and start plowing and salting," said Ron Lacasse, East Lansing Infrastructure Administrator.

To help with plowing, East Lansing also put brine on the city's main roads all day, Friday. It keeps the snow from sticking to the pavement.

"MSU is supplying us the brine. We're paying them for it," said Todd Sneathen, Public Works Director. "We've done some of this before, but now, we have the equipment that we can get out and do that."

The hope is that the pre-treatment will keep the plows off the road until morning. Either way, because it's a weekend, service workers will be rewarded with overtime in both cities.

Lansing has roughly $1.9 million, each year, to spend on clearing the roads. Full-city plows cost roughly $100,000, each time.

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