Road crews explain snowbank removal

This is a recording of the TV6 Early News.
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 4:53 PM EST
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MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - High snowbanks can be found on almost every street corner. The Marquette County Road Commission says busy intersections, like along US-41, are cleared sooner than residential areas.

“Most drivers have a specific run that they go to so they can concentrate on the problem areas, some intersections may take a couple more passes this time depending on the wind direction to get the intersection pushed back to where visibility is acceptable,” said Marquette County Road Commission Director of Operations, Ross Olsen.

Olsen said the Commission has enough staff to cut back snowbanks when necessary. “We staff for a 24-hour event, and we plow accordingly, so if it doesn’t snow for a couple days we get chances to push intersections back and improve visibility.”

The City of Negaunee’s Public Works Director Mark Daavettila says times like now, when there is a lull in snowfall, the city has three priorities it works through:

Priority one:

  • Business District
  • Emergency Route Access
  • School Access
  • State Business Route

Priority two:

  • School and pedestrian traffic
  • Areas that experience flooding/higher traffic intersections

Priority three:

  • Locals

Daavettila says that different areas have higher priorities. “Obviously we try to concentrate on the snowbanks that are around emergency access routes, the school areas first, while we’re getting snow, we concentrate on those areas first.”

Daavettila adds that a lack of space results in the city having to take care of the snow in a different way. “Unfortunately, in town here there’s not a lot of space, so we end up having to haul the majority of the snow.”

Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt says drivers need to be careful near tall snowbanks.

“It’s being cautious, going slow, inching your way out if you can’t see, don’t just assume there isn’t anything coming.”

Sheriff Zyburt says if you see a commission plow on the road to give them some space.