Lincoln Transportation and Utilities (LTU) today said it plans to test a plowing program aimed at reducing ice and snowpack on residential streets this winter. For some storms, LTU would provide private contractors the opportunity to plow and maintain residential streets while LTU crews simultaneously treat and plow the priority arterial streets.
LTU Director Liz Elliott said treating and plowing main arterial streets, bus and school routes are a priority for City crews. Because this operation normally takes six to 12 hours, non-arterial and residential streets may get icy and snow-packed before the crews can start residential plowing.
"Every storm is different, and we have been working on a more tailored approach that provides faster and more effective snow and ice removal," Elliott said. "We will collect data to use in deciding the best approach for each winter storm. It will take some time to create general guidelines for the timing of residential plowing, but our goal is to improve public safety and allocate limited funds wisely."
Elliott said LTU has used a four-inch snow depth guideline to activate residential plowing in the past, but street conditions can vary widely across the community. Under the new effort, Elliott said residential plowing may only be needed in areas of town that see more ice and snow. The new test program will not be fully operational for several years as the City develops criteria and because contractors will need time to develop additional resources.
LTU has incorporated recommendations from the Winter Operations Task Force in its winter storm operations improvements. Other improvements include the following:
More information on winter operations is available at snow.lincoln.ne.gov.