By Makenzie O'Keefe

DENVER (CBS4)– A week after a storm hit Colorado, large plows were seen traveling along residential roads in Denver, dropping de-icer. Denver Public Works decided late on Monday to send out a fleet of nearly 30 trucks to work through the night and into Tuesday morning.

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“In an event like this, it takes time to rebound,” explained Eulois Cleckley, the Executive Director of Denver Public Works.

Eulois Cleckley

Eulois Cleckley (credit: CBS)

Cleckley said this is something the department is testing out, after prolonged cold temperatures prevented ice on the roads from melting.

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“It’s something that were trying that’s new,” Cleckley told CBS4. “It’s not traditional, but we felt we needed to take some action and try something to address some of the concerns we were hearing.”

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It’s a change from Denver’s standard protocol. The snow plan usually sends large plows out to major roads, while smaller plows make one pass on residential roads without dropping de-icer. Public Works told CBS4, that’s usually because de-icer needs a lot of traffic to pass over it, in order for it to activate.

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After a week of cold temperatures and drivers navigating icy and rutted roads, the city decided to try this new approach.

“We’re still moving snow around and were trying to redeploy resources as efficiently as possible to the residential areas to address those concerns,” Cleckely said.

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CBS4 has talked to many frustrated drivers over the course of the week. Denver City Councilman Chris Hinds, also has some concerns of his own.

“If our plan is what we have done in the last week, we need a better plan,” Hinds explained. “I think it makes sense for us as a city to be a little more proactive.”

Chris Hinds

Chris Hinds (credit: CBS)

Last week, Hinds said his wheelchair got stuck in a snowy sidewalk. After being outside for nearly 45 minutes, he ended up in the hospital for two days. For him, it’s not just the roads that are a problem, but also curb ramps and sidewalks for those who use a wheelchair.

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“It’s even more complicated because snow plows will shove the snow into a big heap on the side of the street, well that’s where the curb ramps are,” Hinds explained.

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Hinds said it’s up to homeowners of the adjacent property to shovel not only sidewalks, but also curb ramps. So far the city has fined two people for not clearing their sidewalks after the storm.

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As far as roads go, DPW said the large plows would drop de-icer on every residential road in the city. They hope to then have time to let crews rest, so they’re ready to go when the next storm hits later in the week.

(credit: Jacqueline Quynh)

Makenzie O'Keefe


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