BendCity of Bend calls in contract crews to help clear streets, outlines...

City of Bend calls in contract crews to help clear streets, outlines snow-removal priorities

City of Bend calls in contract crews to help clear streets, outlines snow-removal priorities

‘Mother Nature’s coming in a little quicker than anticipated’

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A bit earlier than usual, the city of Bend called in contract crews Sunday night to help clear streets of several inches of snow, focusing first on major streets, emergency routes and school and hospital zones before heading out into the neighborhoods.

“They’ve been out 24/7, pretty much,” said city Streets and Operations Supervisor Paul Neiswonger. “We started out the contractors last night at 7 and just rockin’ and rollin’.”

About 45 workers from the city and under contract took out more than 20 pieces of equipment. They were working split eight-hour shifts ever since, working from 4 a.m. to noon and noon until 9 or 10 p.m.

“Mother Nature’s coming in a little quicker than anticipated, so it’s ‘Hang on, here we go,’ Neiswonger said, “Normally we get these big storms, you know, January, February.”

Once the major arterials and collectors and other high-priority routes are hit, “we’ll work out into the residential neighborhoods,” the city official said.

Southeast Bend resident Jessica Johnson said what many drivers already know: “Definitely, the neighborhood streets are just terrible. But the freeway, Third Street and stuff like that is doing pretty good.”

Neiswonger said crews will continue to work on the roads this week, with a first goal of hitting all streets at least one before returning to high-traffic routes, “to get the snow knocked down and get it off the road as quickly as possible.”

“If we can get it knocked down and off the road before this turns in the single digits, then we’re not going to freeze up and be an ice cube for us,” he said.

One thing all can agree on is that drivers should play it safe and slow down in slick conditions.

Johnson said, “Definitely more snow earlier in the year, and still crazy drivers that don’t know how to handle the ice.”

Neiswonger added, “Just slippin’ and slidin’. They need to slow down and know what they’re doing — and if they’re not sure-footed, make sure you’ve got some good tires on your car.”

The post City of Bend calls in contract crews to help clear streets, outlines snow-removal priorities appeared first on KTVZ.

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