Snow blower, trucks remove traffic-blocking berms

Snow blower, trucks remove traffic-blocking berms

Downtown drivers struggled Wednesday with berms that blocked lanes of traffic.

It’s phase two of the second full city plow Spokane has seen in the last few weeks.

“It is problematic for drivers, as you need to get in the right lane to make any kind of turn,” said city spokesperson Julie Happy.

We’re used to the snow- but we’re not quite as used to these kinds of berms.

“The last time we did an all city plow like this was probably back in 2008, 2009,” Happy said.

“We haven’t had quite the snow that we’ve had in those years until this year. So I think it’s been about that long since we actually hauled snow from downtown,” she said.

But that’s what they did Wednesday night.

“Our intent is not to leave a berm in the street it’s just because there are so many lane miles to get the snow where it needs to be at an hour when there’s not much traffic in the downtown core it takes a couple of nights,” Happy said.

“Where the snow needs to be is a city owned property,” where the removed berms can stay out of downtown’s way.

How it gets there is the fun part.

“We have a huge snow blower. So you’ll see it going along- It’s got kind of a big fan thing on the front that sucks the snow in and blows it out into trucks,”

A line of dump trucks follows the snow blower down the streets.

The trucks then file out to what’s called the “ranch” to dump the snow and head back for more.

It’s a big job- which is why it takes two nights.

“We try to forewarn that that is what will happen when we plow the downtown. All of our downtown communication about our downtown snow plan says that there will be a berm initially and that we will then haul the berm away consecutively on that second night,” Happy said.

The city expects the full city plow to be done on Friday, and continues to ask that you contact them at 755-CITY with problem spots.

“If we miss your street don’t panic. Give us a call, we’ll come out and take care of it,” Happy said.