The city has invested more than $900,000 in four new snow
plows/sanders during the past three years to address snow conditions on city
roadways, but that’s not enough equipment to handle the worst of worst days,
city officials announced Wednesday.
In a 12-hour period Tuesday,
four city sanding trucks, a de-icer and another smaller sanding truck covered
767 “lane” miles, spreading more than 100 yards of sand and more than 12,000
gallons of liquid magnesium chloride to fight icy roads, according to
Street Superintendent Don Barr.
The sanding trucks, which double as dump trucks in the
off-season, also have 12-foot wide snow plows that pivot to the right and left.
In the past, the city’s old 11-foot wide snow plows/sanders frequently needed
repairs and were not on the road clearing snow when most needed, Barr said.
But even with the new equipment, the Street Division does
not have the equipment or manpower to keep roads bare in Nampa when a heavy
storm rolls through, Barr said.
The city has 369 “center-line miles” and when you consider
the fact that snow plows need at least two passes to clear two lanes or up to
five passes on four-lane roads, the city has nearly 790 “lane miles.”
“That’s a lot of ground to cover, forcing the city to
prioritize what roads to treat first,” Barr said. “Additionally, crews cover
several roads multiple times, depending on the weather conditions.
Unfortunately, residential streets are lowest on the priority list.”
“In preparation for our first storm, drivers distributed
liquid magnesium chloride Monday night, and last week we had drivers out
running the new equipment and learning how to use the new wider plows,” Barr
The four new trucks also have GPS monitors so the Street
Division can track where the trucks have been and how many miles each covers
daily. That kind of monitoring will help the city assess needs down the road,
Fleet Superintendent Doug Adams said.
THE CITY OF NAMPA NOW HAS:
4 multi-use dump trucks with slide-in sanders that also have
the ability to inject magnesium chloride into the sand.
WINTER MAINTENANCE PRIORITIES
Overpasses and underpasses
Signalized intersections and four-way stops and
arterial streets (streets with the highest volume)
Hills and curves
Collector streets (streets with the next highest