Officials explain how crews clear off streets

City, county officials have simililar needs when clearing streets

Many woke up Wednesday morning having to clear our cars once again.

Anywhere from about five to 11 inches of snow fell across the region over the last few days, leaving roads in need of clearing.

Crews from both La Crosse and the county have been out over the last two days clearing snow off of the busiest streets.

While officials said there’s a plan in place, there’s always room for improvement.
When the snow falls, road crews with the city spring into action.

“It was a fairly significant event,” said Dale Hexom, director of public works for La Crosse.

The process to remove snow begins shortly after the first flakes start falling.

“We have 17 plow routes. We generally have teams of two on each route, so we had between 30 and 35 pieces of equipment plowing last night and into this morning,” said Hexom.

About five or six crew members will remain through the night, keeping the major roadways clear.

Officials warn that depending on the storm, the emphasis is keeping those roadways clear.

“We may not do all of the residential, as I said. That may be a plow effort later on the following evening after the snow event has passed,” said Hexom.

Over at the county, 27 crews must deal with other factors, such as higher speeds on their roads.

“We’re keeping in mind that it is designed to be designed to be traveled at 55 mph,” said Joe Langeberg, highway engineer for La Crosse County. “We need more friction to keep the car on the road than they do, so our curves, hills, have to be cleaner.”

And despite both feeling prepared, they know there’s always room to improve.

“We’re learning all the time. Our drivers are really helpful for the young drivers that don’t really have the experience they do,” said Hexom.

“We learn from every storm. No storm is the same,” said Langeberg.

So whether or not winter is someone’s thing, just remember the crews that keep the roads clear.

“Do I like winter? I could do without winter. I like brown Christmases,” said Hexom.

City officials said once crews clear all the roads, they must return to the major roadways to widen them.

The whole process to clean up for a storm like this can take anywhere between two to four days.

Officials are also reminding residents that they are not allowed to shovel snow onto city property such as streets or sidewalks, as well as any other private property.