DENVER – The city of Denver announced an unprecedented move to deice side streets days after last week’s large snowstorm. City officials say after receiving concerns from residents about how long it’s taking for the snow and ice to melt, they decided to address the situation.
Denver Public Works will use 30 large plows to spread deicer on residential streets Monday night and Tuesday.
Officials say the amount of snow that fell and the continued low temperatures for the subsequent days were challenging circumstances.
“We hope this step of dropping deicer on the side streets shows our residents that we are listening and will take necessary actions to address their concerns,” said Eulois Cleckley, Executive Director of Denver Public Works.
On Monday, many side streets around Denver were still covered in ice and slush. On top of that, large ruts in the ice made driving tricky in some areas.
“This is definitely the worst that I’ve noticed,” said Hannah O’Donnell, a driver. “I’ve never had this many troubles driving in the snow before.”
When a snow storm comes through town, DPW deploys smaller, residential plows to make one pass through each side street. That, according to DPW, is all those specific plows are meant for.
“They don’t go to bare pavement, they don’t drop deicing material, they just take off the top few inches of snowpack to help people access the main streets,” said Heather Burke, DPW spokesperson.
Usually, DPW waits for the heat from the sun to melt the icy roads, but now that approach might change.
“Any expansion of the current residential plow program to include de-icing materials on a more regular basis would require a cost analysis, an assessment of environmental impacts to air quality due to increased particulate matter, and resources that may be required to sweep the streets afterwards to reduce particulate matter,” city officials said in a news release Monday afternoon.