Not done yet.
The city’s snow plow supervisor assured city commissioners Tuesday that his crews were still battling to remove the snow from Lawrence’s streets.
“We’re still out working the neighborhoods,” said Tom Orzulak, the city’s street maintenance supervisor. “It has just been a lot of hard work. I know there have been a lot of complaints, and a lot of people aren’t happy with what they’ve ended up with, but it is difficult when you are working in neighborhoods.”
Orzulak told commissioners that the city’s street clearing operations were complicated by the large amount of snow — about 8.5 inches — the drifting nature of the snow, and the fact large amounts of residents park their cars on the streets.
Orzulak said crews now are focusing on trying to widen the paths that have been cleared on residential streets, but that comes with the risk of covering up driveways that residents have recently shoveled.
City commissioners at their weekly meeting told Orzulak they were largely pleased with the city’s snow plowing operations.
“Taking care of 810-lane miles of roadway with the vehicles that we have, it was pretty incredible to see that we were pretty much business as usual on Monday morning following a major event,” said City Commissioner Mike Amyx.
City Commissioner Mike Dever said he wanted city crews to focus on widening driving paths in the city to improve traffic safety. He said the amount of time it took to for city crews to get to residential streets was longer than expected, but was understandable given the snowfall amounts.
“It was a great bonding experience,” Dever said. “People had to work with each other. Those with four-wheel drives and those without. Some of us will reconsider owning one in the future after this.”
Orzulak said he expects cold temperatures to allow the snow to stick around for many days. That means crews next week will focus on hauling off snow from the sides of many streets, Orzulak said.
“We have a pile of snow at the city lot as big as any I’ve seen in 20 years,” Orzulak said. “If we have another big snow, we’re going to have to find another place to put it. I’m working on Plan B already.”
City crews are keeping an eye on an approaching storm. Orzulak said crews were expected to go back to around-the-clock shifts Tuesday night in anticipation of snowfall that was forecast for Wednesday morning.