City crews cleaning primary, secondary routes but not side streets


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – City leaders say they have made good progress clearing the roads. But, that does not include many residential streets.

“Because we have to focus on the emergency and secondary routes, those that facilitate ambulance and fire trucks and police,” says Scott Perkins, Maintenance Administrator with the city of Wichita.

Clearing and salting and sanding primary routes has gone well according to Alan King, Director of Public Works.

“We had all 60 trucks and crew members out all through the night putting down salt, sand, like we did before the earlier event,” explains King. “You might have noticed that the results looked better and a lot of that had to do with the weather. It cooperated with us. Just as the rain comes down and then freezes? That happened again this time. But the amount that came down wasn’t so hard that it washed the roads, washed the material off.”

King says it will start to freeze again, and drivers need to be aware on both residential streets and “main” routes that it will get slick gain. And, King points out, crews have made good progress with salt and sand trucks, now moving to secondary routes that include some areas leading into and away from schools.

“To be clear on my definition of secondary roads? It’s not the neighborhood streets,” says King. “There are some neighborhoods that have like one road that services the whole neighborhood. That’s what we mean by secondary routes. We actually did get on those, we just actually need to do more on those.”

King says they will continue to have salt and sand trucks out overnight doing shifts 24/7 for now. But it’s not in the budget for clearing all residential streets.

And Perkins adds that if you have only one street to get out and it is blocked from snow and ice, the city will listen to calls to clear that particular residential street.

“Our trucks are running primary and secondary (routes), says Perkins. “But if someone requests a clearing? We listen, and then we have a supervisor go out and look at it and assess the situation. Simply requesting it is not going to guarantee it’s going to get done, because we evaluate the situation.”

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