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Indy plows side streets, residential roads for 1st time in more than a decade after added snowfall

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — After Indianapolis received heavy snow in Monday’s storm and then a bit more Thursday morning, the Department of Public Works said Thursday afternoon it will bring in 100 additional contractors to clear side streets and and residential roadways for the first time in more than a decade.

It’s the first time the city’s side streets and residential roadways will be plowed for “the better part of a decade,” said Benjamin Easley, chief communications officer for Public Works.

Storm Track 8’s weather team estimated Indianapolis received 8 inches of snow Monday, which was not enough for the city to activate added snow plowing. Early Thursday, the city received an added 1-2 inches, the weather team says.

Before Thursday’s snow, Public Works and its contractors had addressed major thoroughfares, secondary streets and 600 additional lane miles of key residential streets known as “connectors.” The city said its Indy Snow Force has been at work since Sunday night.

The decision to plow side streets and residential roadways in Indianapolis excludes other Marion County communities such as Speedway, Lawrence, Southport and others.

Indianapolis announced Nov. 6 that it was dropping its “6 inches of snow” rule previously used to make plowing decisions.

Easley said in an email response to News 8, “Even under the previous ‘6-inch rule’ policy of calling out contractors for residential streets only when accumulation met that threshold on streets, it has been the better part of a decade since we’ve engaged contractors in this type of response for residential streets. The winter events just haven’t warranted it; this was some of the reasoning behind shifting to address Connectors first.”

Some residents of the near-east side didn’t wait on the city Thursday but instead grabbed shovels to help remove some snow and bring a positive change in the community. Residents around the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and 10th Street, though, were looking forward to seeing their side streets get plowed.

Molly Kruger says the snow-covered street is frustrating. After coming home from the gym Wednesday night, she faced a challenge. “I couldn’t park because every which way was blocked because people were getting stuck and, if you don’t have an SUV, even if you do have an SUV, it’s easy to get stuck because it’s not plowed at all.”

Another resident of the near-east side, Ivan “Jerry” Wilson said, “Anybody could easily (crash) into you, and you could hit black ice because that’s what’s under some of this stuff: black ice.

“You can hit somebody’s car and it’s a hazard.”

“It’s just very frustrating, but it’s exciting to have really great neighbors who want to come together and make their community better and neighborhood better and safer for people. So, I wish the city would do it, but I’m looking forward to being with my neighbors.”

News release

“INDIANAPOLIS — With up to two additional inches of snow on Indy roadways after early morning accumulation Thursday, the Indianapolis Department of Public Works has secured additional contractors to address side streets and residential roadways not previously plowed this week. As many as 100 vendor trucks will mobilize within the next 24 hours.

“‘This second significant snowfall has demonstrated that our neighborhoods are in need of extra assistance,’ said Mayor Joe Hogsett. ‘Neighbors along residential streets need this support to address as much as 10 inches of precipitation — and help is on the way.’

“Indy Snow Force crews, focused on major thoroughfares and secondary streets, have this afternoon started expanding their reach by addressing intersections with side streets along their standard routes. A new shift of Indy DPW drivers will report at 11 P.M. for another 12-hour overnight shift; Indy Snow Force crews have been engaged since Sunday evening.

“New vendor crews have been contracted generally by township. Contractors for Indianapolis residential streets in Wayne, Lawrence, Pike, Washington, Decatur, and Franklin townships will begin this afternoon. The contractor for Perry, Center, and Warren townships is expected to mobilize as early as tonight. 

“Vendor crews will work to address all public, residential streets not previously plowed as a part of the key ‘Connector’ residential street network. Residential streets plowed in the next several days–especially those which are particularly narrow–may only be cleared to a single lane.

“Contractor teams activated to clear residential ‘Connector’ streets completed these routes as of Wednesday evening. Monitors with Indy DPW have worked to ensure vendor efforts meet contract standards.

“A map of standard Indy Snow Force routes (marked in red) and residential Connector routes (marked in blue) can be found at indy.gov/snow.

“The Indy Snow Force Viewer will continue to be active, showing where roads along standard routes have been recently plowed or treated with salt.

“Follow @IndySnowForce on Twitter for regular updates on snow fight activity during winter weather events.”

Benjamin Easley, chief communications officer, Indianapolis Department of Public Works

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