Record January Snowfall Tests DPW Operations

January 31, 2014 at 3:40 PM

SUMMIT, NJ -– A January which saw record snowfall, charted at 38 inches at Newark Liberty International Airport, has translated into an extremely active month for the City of Summit Division of Public Works (DPW) who kept City streets clear of snow and ice and the downtown open for business.

“Since every snowstorm has varying characteristics such as temperature, moisture content, wind velocity and storm duration, the DPW develops a snow removal plan unique to the individual storm,” reports City Administrator Christopher Cotter.  “The primary focus is on public safety.”

City of Summit snow removal planning efforts for a storm begin as soon as forecasts of impending weather events are received from the National Weather Service.

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“We begin plowing at accumulations of three inches of snow and before that focus on brining and salting roadways,” describes Superintendent of Public Works Paul Cascais.  “Our goal is always to provide safe, efficient snow clearing operations using effective plowing and material usage strategies.”

The DPW is responsible for ensuring that the City’s 80 miles of road are safe and passable, operating snow removal efforts on a 24-hour schedule to get the roads open as quickly as possible.  Cascais reports that, during the seven recent storms, 37 DPW employees worked 1,912 hours to clear Summit streets.

“It is a City priority to help keep the downtown open for business,” explains Summit Mayor Ellen Dickson.  “Over the past month the DPW has done an incredible job keeping the streets clear, parking meters accessible and the park and shop lots open.” 

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