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City officials tell us where snow on the road goes

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Jan 29 2013 07:55:36 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Do you know where the snow goes?

"I actually have no idea where all the snow goes."

It was a common response from most Bozeman residents but not from Kate Ciari.

"Well, I have a couple ideas.  I believe that it goes by the fairgrounds.  The road department has a place where they dump snow and then, also, out by the softball fields on Haggerty Lane," replied Ciari.

She's right about both.  The spot at the fairgrounds is one city workers can hit for small loads near the City Shops Complex.  The dump on Haggerty Lane sees thousands of yards of snow every year.

"We need a place to put the next storm so, if we don't, it's just going to keep building in the middle so, the lanes get smaller, less room, it meets over the side walk," says Bozeman Street Superintendent John Van Delinder.

Yet, it hasn't been a busy year for hauling snow, thusfar.  While Van Delinder says they've already hauled more snow than last year, he says their challenge this season has been the scattered, small storms.  That's meant less hauling and plowing and more sanding.

"We've got to get a lot of people out there and quickly.  Get the stop signs sanded, the signals sanded, the hills on Highland and Kagy sanded...With a big storm, we know we're out plowing.  These, we just got to go out and sand every intersection, trying to help people stop, give them some traction," says Van Delinder.

In fact, they've already used a winter's worth of sand.

"We had to order some more but, luckily, the local gravel pit keeps it in stock so, we're able to get it," explains Van Delinder.

Van Delinder says  they'll continue to spread sand, seeing that snow is sticking around and keeping roads slick, but it will be a while before his team sets out to haul snow again.

"When it gets to about two feet and it's hard to get out of your car on the passenger side, that's when we have to haul snow and 3am's the only time we can do it before cars get there," says Van Delinder.

The City of Bozeman's night and weekend crews are responsible for hauling snow from side streets downtown and around the schools.  The State of Montana removes snow from Main Street.