Snow removal went as well as could be expected last week, county engineer says

Henry County Engineer Jake Hotchkiss is hoping for more frost in the ground before the next snow.

The soft conditions made snow removal last week take about half a day longer than typical snow removal after a big storm, Hotchkiss said during a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

“It was very slow going. Some of the guys, as time went on, sped up on the second and third day,” Hotchkiss said. “Our spare blades were out there helping with snow removal. That’s not always the case depending on the amount of snow and manpower.”

Snow plows started at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25, removing snow as the storm came in. Monday and Tuesday were spent out in plow trucks and motor graders from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. clearing pavements and gravel roads.

Wednesday, territory operators started at 5 a.m. and completed an initial pass of all gravel roads before going back and cutting openings in snow piles for forecasted rain. Crews started working on cleaning bridges for drainage.

Thursday, territory operators worked on winging back snow on paved roads with motor graders and continued cleaning bridges for drainage.

Friday, territory operators worked on icy areas after the county saw a wintry mix. Plow trucks went out at 5 a.m. and crews cleaned up trucks in the afternoon.

“Friday, the gravel roads were pretty treacherous” Hotchkiss said. “As the day went on, it improved substantially as far as ice melting. It’s just a mess out there as far as gravel roads, but they are improving.”

Hotchkiss said they are waiting for a break in the weather to finish the Benton Avenue culvert, so they can open it to traffic.

“If we get a weather window, we’ll get rock down and try to get that open to traffic,” Hotchkiss said.

Crews will begin spot rocking some areas as gravel road conditions continue to improve.

Supervisors approved a right of way contract and construction plans for 260th Street grading and culvert projects. The letting date is Jan. 10, 2019. Construction will begin late spring to early summer.