Snow: ‘ real stress and strain’ |

Snow: ‘ real stress and strain’

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Park City’s snowplow crews, backhoe operators and dump truck drivers have moved about 6,000 loads of snow out of the city this winter, a staggering number that provides a snapshot of how snowy the last few weeks have been.

Through an entire winter the city normally must only take between 1,400 and 1,800 truckloads out of the city, says Pace Erickson, who manages the snowplow operations for City Hall.

In approximately the last week, he says, about the same amount of snow was trucked out of the city as there typically is in a year. The drivers take the snow to a spot off S.R. 248.

Most of the snow came out of Old Town, where streets are narrow and houses sit just off the street. The drivers also hauled snow from cul-de-sacs and the Prospector business district, Erickson says.

"We’re plugging along," Erickson says.

The crews have hauled from Old Town streets like upper Norfolk Avenue, Daly Avenue, King Road and Main Street. They have worked on a 24-hour basis since mid-December.

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"You can tell. You can just tell the body language, they’re getting tired," he says.

Up to six people on a day crew and a night crew have been working four 12-hour days each week, with extra shifts needed when the heaviest snows fell.

Erickson is impressed with the efforts, saying the streets are in "pretty good shape."

"I would dare say 95 percent of the streets are at least two lanes or wider," he says, adding the Public Works Department has received more compliments than complaints.

At a Park City Council meeting on Thursday, there were some worries that the snowplows piled snow too high at some intersections. City Councilman Joe Kernan said it is difficult to see an oncoming car at some intersections, and he suggested City Hall could urge people to be careful at the intersections.

Erickson says the crews planned to start hauling the snow at the intersections as early as Friday, Feb. 8.

City Councilman Roger Harlan agreed that the intersections are dangerous until the snow is moved.

"You could get hurt," he said at the meeting, adding that skiers and snowboarders enjoy the big recent snows, but the weather has a "secret dark side that creates real stress and strain."