Julie Happy

Streets crews stay busy despite lack of snowfall

Julie Happy, Division Communication Manager of Business and Developer Services, No Phone Number Available

Monday, February 16, 2015 at Noon

There hasn't been much snow, but City Streets crews have still been busy this winter. Warmer weather and lack of snowfall has also allowed crews to spend more time on other things, including filling potholes, cleaning winter debris off streets and grading dirt roadways.

Snow removal is only a small portion of what our street crews do during the winter season. Most of their time and effort is focused on preparing our streets for any combination of moisture and freezing temperatures. That moisture could include snow, rain, fog, dew or any other precipitation that may freeze on the roadway.

Although we haven't seen a lot of snow so far this year in Spokane, we have experienced winter weather with freezing temperatures. These conditions require a lot of sand and deicer product to manage. We have seen a significant increase in deicer and sand usage preparing for the freezing overnight temperatures.

  • SAND: Since October, we have used 1,252 tons. During the same time last year, we used 409 tons.
  • DEICER: Since October, we have used 634,745 gallons. Last year, we used 491,597 gallons during that period.

Despite the increase, though, we expect to finish the 2013-2014 snow season $150,000 under budget.

Of course, freezing conditions lead to potholes as well. Potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water after the water has entered into the ground under the pavement.

Pothole data comparison by year

Year Total #
2014 2,948
2013 2,882
2012 2,959
2011 3,976

If you see a pothole, report it to the City's Pothole Hotline at 509.625.7733. Street Maintenance Crews are also proactive in looking for potholes and getting them repaired.

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