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Huckleberries Online

Tue., Jan. 3, 2017, 3:50 p.m.

Streets chief explains bermy winter

In this SR file photo by Jesse Tinsley, a snowplow works its way down B St. in Coeur d'Alene after a 24-hour snowfall total of about a foot in the city by the lake.
In this SR file photo by Jesse Tinsley, a snowplow works its way down B St. in Coeur d'Alene after a 24-hour snowfall total of about a foot in the city by the lake.

Recovering from recent wrist surgery, Deputy City Administrator Sam Taylor took the time to ask Streets Chief Tim Martin why some residents in Coeur d'Alene are faced with berms across the driveway after the plows go by. From Tim:

"Why some residents are seeing berms at this point in the winter snow fight: Roads are becoming narrower. The snow is not melting. As the grader makes first pass, some of the snow is actually getting into the driveway before the gate has an opportunity to do its job.

"Believe it or not, it should not snow when it is this cold in North Idaho. The last time we had this type of snow was 2008-09. That year, although we had greater amounts of snowfall during the same time frame, the conditions are the same: We have not had a thaw that would reduce the size of the berms along the edge of the road. Operators are balancing the act of widening the road and trying to keep a reasonable berm from collecting in the driveway. Remember the gates reduce, not eliminate, the berm.

"The tempo in which we have had these storms has not allowed the department to go out between storms and push back berms where cars are parked and prior to driveways. By not having the time to do this type of maintenance, storage capacity on the edges just are not there and as the plow blades are carrying snow loads coming into the driveway area, the snow will swim around it a create a berm instead of being captured by the gate."

"We appreciate the very positive feedback by the community as we continue to break records in plowing the entire community in 30 hours or less this year thanks to the amazing work of our crew. Some years ago it took more than 56 hours for us to plow the entire community.

"Thanks for the feedback, understanding and patience as we deal with this level of snow."




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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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