Glenwood workers still stacking snow
It’s been an all-hands-on-deck snow season for Glenwood Springs’ public works department.
“We’re on par with about what we were last year … but it was spaced out a little bit more,” said Matthew Langhorst, Glenwood Springs public works director. “We’ve kind of had these storms piling up on each other.”
Mother Nature piled well over a foot of snow Thursday and Friday on Glenwood Springs, which led to several closures and cancellations.
For the city’s snow-removal crews, though, it was once again time to plow.
According to Langhorst, during the 2018-19 winter months, crews plowed for 1,789 hours, which equates to 224 workdays.
This winter crews have already surpassed 1,009 hours of plow time or 126 workdays.
Langhorst pointed out how those “plow hours” don’t account for ice scraping along curbs and inlets, clearing parking lots or snow hauling and stacking, either.
According to Langhorst, if a winter storm is projected to dump more than 3 to 4 inches of snow, the city calls in local contractor Gould Construction for its snow-blowing machinery.
“The snow blower can basically fill up a truck in about 60 seconds,” Langhorst said. “Where it would take us like six minutes, and a lot of backing and forwarding and traffic control to fill a truck with a loader.”
Historically, crews have hauled snow to a city-owned property below Glenwood Springs High School.
“This year we filled it up a week ago,” Langhorst said. “The reason for that is (that) it’s not melting.”
Subsequently, the city is using the old rodeo grounds adjacent to the Glenwood Springs airport and the old wastewater plant on Seventh Street for snow stacking, too.
“And it is full,” Langhorst said of the former wastewater plant site. “We filled it up in 2½ days.”
Langhorst said the city had been hauling snow, almost nonstop, since last week’s storms but said all major hauling would be finished by the end of the day Tuesday.
Additionally, the city does have $110,000 in the 2020 budget for equipment rental and snow removal services.
Glenwood Springs Chief of Police Joseph Deras said last week’s storms led to quite a few traffic-related issues as a result of spinouts and drivers losing control of their vehicles.
Deras, though, was unaware of any serious accidents in Glenwood Springs last week that transpired due to the adverse driving conditions.
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The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against the city of Aspen that challenged its zoning laws concerning Mill Street Plaza, which is home to locally serving businesses.