City Of Denver Treating This Weekends Storm As A Top Tier Storm Which Means Lots Of Plows Will Be Out

Large plows will take care of main streets and smaller plows will take care of side streets.

Video Transcript

- Also working hard is the city of Denver. We are joined right now by Heather Burke with Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. She joins us on Zoom.

So Heather, thanks again for joining us. We spoke with you this morning. We know that the city has been planning for this storm as well. Tell us what the plans are for plows to clear city streets.

HEATHER BURKE-BELLILE: Well, at Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, we're treating this as a top-tier storm. So that means we're going to have 'round-the-clock coverage. We're going to have our big plows address the main streets. We're going to have our smaller plows address the side streets. And we're also going to pull in our heavy equipment in case we see some drifting snow.

So we do have crews that are out there right now. Right now, they are looking at those bridges and overpasses because those are the areas that tend to ice up the most first. So they're checking out those now. And I'm looking out my window right now. And as the snow ramps up, they will start plowing those main streets and side streets.

- And let's talk a little bit more about that. I know, Heather, you and I spoke of this this morning during our extended coverage. But a lot of times, folks want to know when their neighborhood is going to be cleared. And it might not be exactly when they want it. So what will it take, in terms of snow accumulation, for plows to hit those residential streets?

HEATHER BURKE-BELLILE: So we always like to send out our smaller plows when they will be beneficial in pushing enough snow that will give people access to the main streets. So one thing to keep in mind about our smaller residential plows-- they don't go to bare pavement. And they don't drop deicing material.

So basically, their goal is to prevent that deep ice spreading. So they'll just make that single path for every 12-hour shift. We're going to have multiple shifts working for this storm. And, yeah, it's just to prevent that deep ice spreading. And we want to make sure that there's enough snow for those smaller trucks to be able to push.

- And I want to ask you, again, about bike lanes because right now, you know, with the snow kind of hitting the roads, it's not really sticking just yet. So some folks might feel like it's safe enough for them to travel on a bike, although they're going to get pretty wet being in those conditions. How does the city of Denver help maintain those?

HEATHER BURKE-BELLILE: You know, our bigger plows address those on-street bike lanes. So our big plows do the best they can to get curb-to-curb with those bike lanes. But, you know, in conditions when, like this storm, we're going to see heavy swift snowfall, we always suggest people on bikes ride in a shared lane condition.

Now, we also have protected bike lanes. So those bike lanes that have those barriers that separate people on bikes from vehicles. And we actually have a smaller plow that addresses those protected bike lanes. And our goal is to hit those bike lanes with the same frequency that our big plows hit the main streets. So our goal is to hit those protected bike lanes one or two passes per 12-hour shift.

- All right. Well, Heather, thank you so much. And of course, thank you to all of the crews that are helping keep our roads clear and safe during this storm. You stay warm and safe yourself, Heather.

HEATHER BURKE-BELLILE: Thank you. You, too.

- Thank you. All right.