DENVER (CBS4) – The city of Denver announced an unprecedented move to de-ice side streets days after last week’s large snowstorm. City officials say after receiving concerns from residents about how long it has taking for the snow and ice to melt, they decided to address the situation.
Denver Public Works is using 30 large plows to spread de-icer on residential streets on 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 de-icer 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.
When a snowstorm 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.
Tim Haag is one of many on a long list of concerned homeowners. He manages the Two Thousand Cheesman East condominiums and says he has taken his concerns to city council.
“Two days ago I went to Denver Public Works and didn’t get much of a response so I bumped it up to the mayor’s office today.”
He is happy that complaints like his resulted in action.
“It should really improve if they actually come through and do it, right?” said Haag, “Seeing is believing.”
Just outside of the Cheesman East condos, near the corner of Race Street and 12th, a couple got their car stuck just trying to park.
“After seeing all the trouble we’ve been having out here with cars; it’s a very busy road along 12th. Oh yes, I made the phone call to the mayors office,” said Haag.
Usually DPW waits for the heat from the sun to melt the icy roads, but now its typical 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.
Monday night, DPW said it would begin the process with a few plows focusing on side streets around schools and hospitals.