Plows pound pavement | ParkRecord.com

Plows pound pavement

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The City Hall official who manages snowplowing operations says his crews’ performance during last weekend’s snowstorm, the first of the season, was "excellent," maintaining most streets were plowed more than once by the Monday morning commute.

Pace Erickson, who directs the operations for the Public Works Department, says all the city streets were plowed at least once by Monday morning, eight hours after officials say the storm ended. There have not been widespread public complaints about the snowplowing since the storm.

"We hit everything pretty hard. We got everything opened up," Erickson says, adding, "We had so many things opened up so quick, and we didn’t fall behind."

Erickson says eight workers were deployed, and they amassed about 20 hours of overtime each during the storm.

On Monday and Tuesday, the crews expected to continue plowing, with plans to push the snow banks further to the sides of roads.

The crews had not started hauling snow, but Erickson says that operation might start on Wednesday. He says the haul would begin on Main Street and lower Park Avenue, two streets critical to business. The snow is hauled to a spot near Quinn’s Junction.

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On Main Street, which was busy over the weekend with the area’s three mountain resorts open, Ken Davis, who leads the Main Street merchants, rated the work as "OK." He says Erickson’s crews "handled it," and he is unaware of complaints from Main Street.

"We got hit over the weekend, and they’ve got some removal to do. The street’s OK," Davis says.

Meanwhile, the Park City Police Department handled a rush of complaints related to the snowstorm, with minor traffic accidents busying officers. Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, says no serious accidents occurred, but some people suffered minor injuries.

"It was just extremely hazardous road conditions," Kirk says, calling many of the accidents slide-offs.

He says drivers were not prepared for the first major snowstorm of the year, and the roads were "difficult to navigate."

Some of the accidents the Police Department investigated include:

( A report at 5:17 p.m. on Saturday at the Bonanza Drive-Deer Valley Drive intersection. Police logs indicate three cars hit each other, and they blocked a lane.

( At 5:13 p.m. on Saturday, a Jeep Cherokee reportedly slid off the Mine Road. Nobody was injured, but a tow truck was summoned.

( A Saturday slide-off was reported at 11:37 a.m. on the 2900 block of Lucky John Drive.

( At 10:27 a.m. on Saturday, someone told the police a sport utility vehicle slid into a condominium on Daly Avenue. Nobody was injured, the police say.

In another weather-related case, on Friday, Dec. 7 at 9:54 p.m., a piece of ice reportedly fell onto a car, breaking the windshield, while someone was driving down Main Street, the police say. The incident occurred on the 700 block of the street, but public police logs do not provide details.

Police officers also handled lots of parked cars on snowplow routes, warning people to move them or they would be towed. Kirk says a few were towed to allow snowplows easy access to roads. The Police Department called in two extra officers to assist.

"It’s the proverbial parked cars that are the problem," Erickson says.