City of Minot prepares for snow forecast

City prepares for snow forecast

Submitted Photo Snow plows roll down North Hill following a previous year’s snowstorm in this photo from the City of Minot. Plows are ready to roll again this week if necessary.

Minot’s snow plows are being outfitted and street sanders are ready to go, according to City Manager Tom Barry. The city of Minot is prepared for several inches of snow should it fall this week, Barry told the Minot City Council Monday.

As of Monday, two graders had been equipped and readied with cutting edges, and leased machines were in the process of being prepared, he said.

“Roads will be cleared, but our gates just aren’t ready on the equipment yet. So if we do have an event over this next three, four or five days, we won’t be using the snow gates because they’re not quite ready,” Barry added.

Snow gates are used when snowfall amounts are between six to 10 inches. Beyond 10 inches, gates are ineffective, Barry said.

The Minot Public Works Department reported it has five sanders ready and access to eight blades, although not all will be equipped with gates. It has two side-delivery plow attachments for its front-end loaders that are equipped with gates.

The city also will be providing residents with information on snow removal operations through social media posts and videos, including information on how snow gates work and how sand helps provide traction on streets.

The razor tracking system will not be operational this week, but once it is up and running, it will enable residents to find the location of the graders or other snow plow equipment following a storm.

“You can see when they come through your neighborhood or where they are in regards to other neighborhoods,” Barry said.

The website link to the snow blade tracker can be found at minotnd.org in the section for the Public Works Department by clicking on “streets” and “snow management” or by doing a website search for snow management.

Barry outlined the city’s snow strategy as follows:

® Crews are dispatched before large snow events to pre-treat the streets, sanding roadways when less than three inches of snow is expected or salting if freezing rain is expected.

® Snow plows are dispatched when snowfall reaches three inches or greater and run 24 hours a day.

® Snow plows begin on the 30 major snow route streets, moving to school areas and adjacent streets and eventually the residential areas during the day and central business district at night.

® Sidewalks are the final area cleared of snow.

“It generally takes us about 72 hours to get the entire city cleared,” Barry said.

City ordinance requires residents to remove snow from their sidewalks, whether on personal property or in the right of way. In response to past complaints about uncleared sidewalks, the city will be increasing its enforcement this winter, Barry said.

Even without snow, the weather has created havoc for road construction in the city, Barry told the council.

“Currently we’re about two to three weeks behind due to weather on phase one of the flood control project. We hoped to have Third Street open sooner than the end of the month, but with the delay, that’s going to push the opening of Third Street a little bit longer. A contractor is now having to mitigate for wet soil. We can’t get compaction and proper soil approval from the engineers,” Barry said.

Phases two and three continue with floodwall erection, pump station work and underground utility work. Work is progressing more slowly, though, Barry said.

Sixteenth Street Southwest will continue to have head-to-head traffic through October due to the weather delays.

The Broadway maintenance project has been slowed, and construction may not progress to as far south as 20th Avenue before winter brings the work to a halt, Barry said.

“Whatever work that doesn’t get done this year, we’re going to have to move to next year. But the contractor is being very aggressive and is working night and odd hours in order to try to get this work done. We appreciate the traveling public’s patience while we try to get this project done,” he said.