MISSOULA – This was the third snowiest and second coldest February in Missoula, and roads were so bad that schools had to be shut down all over the state earlier this week.
Deputy Director of Public Works for Streets Brian Hensel says the city receives lots of complaints about how the streets are plowed. But they’ve already exceeded the overtime budget for this year.
“We have to do what we have to do,” Hensel said. “When we get these big snow events, the city responds with all available resources. When it’s over we’ll figure out what we need to do to help cover those costs.”
Hensel says they only plow the driving lanes because that minimizes pile-up on the side of the road. He asks people to clear out their mailboxes and avoid shoveling snow into the street.
“Our guys have been working around the clock since last Sunday. We’ve been running every piece of available snow equipment we have. We will continue until we have been through every single street in the city of Missoula.”
Missoula has about 20 plows to cover all 322 miles of city streets.
The city divides its streets into three priority levels, and low-volume residential streets are typically the last to be plowed, if at all.