No snow job in its removal, officials say

The calls have dumped in Eric Bruton’s lap almost as fast as the snow: complaints about passing county-operated snowplows tossing snow into driveways; and jammed up cul-de-sacs.

Bruton knows more remains to be done in clearing roadways, but Mesa County’s roads supervisor says his 30 snowplows have been manned and running 10-hour shifts since Monday, and he insists they’ve hit all of the 1,200 miles of road they’re responsible for, in some form or fashion.

“Bear with us,” Bruton said. “If anybody out there can get Mother Nature to help, we can get this done a lot faster.”

Bruton said he and his staff have fielded several calls for help clearing internal roads on several subdivisions, which they’ve tried to answer by sending road graders, trying to break up packed snow down to the pavement.

“The problem with plowing (cul-de-sacs) is you’re knocking snow up underneath cars, which get high-centered and stuck, ” Bruton said. “We don’t want to create a bigger problem.”

Kristin Winn, spokeswoman for the city of Grand Junction’s public works and planning departments, said city crews working 12-hour, rotating shifts on eight plows had largely cleared downtown roads as of Friday.

“We don’t have the resources to plow every side street in the city,” Winn said. “By the time we’d get around, it will be gone.”

The lack of resources isn’t a matter of budget constraints but reflects normal snowplow needs for the area and the week’s record dumping, she said.

“How many plows do you want to buy to have them sit around 90 percent of the time?” Winn asked.


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