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Alpena DPW’s Snow Removal Process

With the most recent snow we’ve gotten, the city of Alpena Department of Public Works has been hard at work.

They have multiple workers on call and multiple trucks ready to go, and they work rigorous hours and clean countless streets in order for the public to be able to commute safely.

“They hit these streets and they hit them hard, and they hit the same streets four times now between last night and today we’ve hit some of these streets,” said Alpena City Engineer Steve Shultz.

By 3 AM, everyone on staff is out in a truck and remain working until the winter storm warning is over, or until the streets have been mostly cleaned off. They will be back after that at 3 AM the next day.

“But, you know, it’s still snowing as they’re clearing, it’s still snowing, so they get done with the entire beat, and it looks like they’ve done nothing, it’s hard,” said Shultz. “It’s hard because now they’ve gotta go back and do everything all over again because it’s been snowing the whole time.”

Plow trucks have to deal with the unpredictability of traffic, and sometimes have to back up in the intersections. They ask people to be patient with them as they do their job.

“The streets and the local streets, we get to a point where we have to clean parking lots as well, we have to be ready for people to go to work in the morning, so sometimes you have guys on streets, but you also have guys in parking lots plowing and salting,” said Shultz.

The DPW was ready for this storm, as their preparation is thorough and anticipatory.

“For this storm, it was kind of all hands on deck,” said Shultz. “We knew that coming into it, because it was going to come so quick and so fierce, so they jumped on it right away.”

The DPW has a system of how they clear each road, and sometimes don’t get to the local streets until the next day.