SPRINGFIELD (WGGB) — As Western Mass braces for the biggest snow storm so far this year, local crews are getting plows and salt spreaders ready for action. It’s the relative calm before the storm.
At the Springfield Department of Public Works, a dozen plows sit parked – idle, but at the ready.
“We’re just making sure are equipment is all up and running,” said Springfield Deputy Director of the DPW, John Rooney. “We’ve got inventory. We’re checking our inspector rosters making sure we have drivers and inspectors available to us for a long-term storm.”
Springfield can put about 200 trucks out to keep the roads clear. That’s including the 170 private contractors the city uses.
“Usually we start sanding and spreading salt as soon as it starts to snow,” explained Rooney. “Main arterials only and we’ll start the plowing operation when there’s 2 to 3 inches on the ground.”
They’ll tackle 2,000 streets – 1,100 lane miles of road. That’s a lot of pavement, and it takes a lot of salt.
The city started the season with 7,000 tons. The dome now holds about half that amount… still plenty to tackle what’s in store.
The situation is similar right across the river as the West Springfield DPW also prepares for the big storm. They have about 400 tons of salt/sand mixture for spreading.
“We’re going to put the plows on this afternoon so we’ll be ready for tomorrow,” said West Springfield DPW Director Robert Colson. “We don’t anticipate it to be a big sanding and salting storm – more of just a plowing storm.”
West Springfield also contracts out, able to get 40 plows on the roads with a combination of public and private trucks. But for now, that equipment waits… the crews prep… and the sun shines.
“We’re grinding stumps. Patching pot holes. It’s a beautiful day out and tomorrow probably by the afternoon it’s be a little different,” said Colson.
Indeed, what a difference a day will make.
Something else to keep in mind if tomorrow is your trash day.
In both Springfield and West Springfield, pick up will begin 2 hours earlier than normal to stay ahead of the snow.