First focus in city's plowing is clearing the main streets

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007
— Q: Which areas get plowed first?

A: In the city of Janesville, the primary focus is on all collector and arterial streets, bus routes and hills, said John Whitcomb, operations director. Then come residential streets.

Q: At what point do you plow?

A: Every storm is different, but 90 percent of the time, Janesville treats snowfalls of up to 2 inches chemically.

Q: How long does it take to plow everything?

A: "It's a minimum of a 10-hour process (in the city) after the snow stops," Whitcomb said.

Q: When can I expect my residential street to be plowed?

A: The city's objective is to clear all streets, alleys and public parking lots 10 hours after it stops snowing.

Driver safety comes first, and sometimes they can't push that hard.

Under a routine snowfall of 4 to 5 inches, arterial and collector streets take about four hours, and city streets take six hours.

Q: What did Janesville budget in 2007 and how much has it spent so far?

A: The city budgeted $808,000 for snow removal, which includes plowing, chemical spreading, downtown snow removal and residential snow removal, Whitcomb said.

Through Nov. 1, the city was $168,000 over budget on snow removal, he said.

Q: What did Rock County budget in 2007 and how much has it spent?

A: The 2007 budget was $1.62 million for winter maintenance, said Rock County Administrator Craig Knutson. Through Dec. 5, the county had spent $1.82 million.

By the numbers

-- The city of Janesville dispatches 33 plows.

-- The city is divided into 13 plowing routes. Two trucks each plow 12 routes, and three plows work downtown.

-- The city averages 3,000 to 4,000 tons of salt each winter.

-- Janesville has 330 centerline miles. Thatís more than 660 plowing miles.

-- Rock County has 1,000 centerline miles. Thatís 2,200 plowing miles, including highway ramps and turn lanes.

-- The county uses about 25,000 tons of salt mixed with sand.

-- The county dispatches about 45 trucks in a snow stormó15 for I-90/39 and 10 to 12 for town and county roads and state highways.

Who does what?

Cities and villages take care of their streets.

So do the towns of Turtle, Bradford and Beloit.

Rock County public works plows for the other 17 towns.

The town roads and low-volume county roads are the last to be plowed. The county starts with Interstate 90/39 and Interstate 43 and then moves on to state highways and high-volume county roads.

Last updated: 11:16 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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