By Audrey Bailey
With the holiday season in full swing and the peak of winter in the not-too-distant future, it’s that time of year when icy sidewalks and snow-packed roads can start creating worry.
But, with the help of a carefully planned street clearing system and new plowing trucks, City of Carmel Streets Director Dave Huffman is expecting a more efficient and safer response to winter weather.
“We have six new salt trucks now. We’re expecting six more by the end of the year, and four of those trucks are going to be outfitted with wing plows. They’ll also have the 12-foot plow in front,” Huffman said. “And, you’re going to see two on Keystone, you’re going to see one on Carmel Drive and one on Hazel Dell, doing the wider roads so we can get them done in a quicker, more efficient manner.”
When a winter storm is on the radar, a team of around 20 salt trucks, and up to another 52 trucks designed for heavier storms, head out an hour or two before the storm hits.
“We want to get a base coat of salt under the storm, the snow on the main and secondary (roads), so it’s easier to clean up when it’s done,” Huffman said.
School officials may also rely on the street department when making a decision to cancel or delay classes.
“There have been times throughout the years, that (the school district) will call and ask us what the conditions of the roads are, but that’s it. They won’t ask opinions,” Huffman said.
Once a truck is out on the streets, it follows a specific route until a section is cleared and completed. When a designated route has been finished, that truck will then assist with clearing or salting other roads and streets in need of service.