On Wednesday, Feb. 2, East Lansing received its most significant snowfall thus far this winter, resulting in the closure of East Lansing Public Schools and the East Lansing Public Library and the suspension of on-street parking, but some residents report that they are still digging out from the winter storm nearly a week later.
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One ELi reader wrote in to describe what they saw as a lack of cleanup in the Southeast Marble and Whitehills neighborhoods. ELi also heard reports that parts of the Oakwood neighborhood had not been fully cleared.
“They still have steep snow on the streets themselves as if it wasn’t done,” wrote the reader to ELi on Sunday afternoon.
On Monday afternoon, ELi observed a number of streets in the Whitehills, Bailey and Oakwood neighborhoods were in markedly worse condition than some of the major connecting thoroughfares like Burcham Drive or Abbot Road.
In the days since Wednesday’s heavy snowfall, there has been enough activity to make the roads passable — enough regular traffic eventually clears off or packs down the snow.
According to East Lansing’s Acting Deputy Director and Infrastructure Administrator Ron Lacasse, most plowing – excluding some cul-de-sacs – was completed by 3 p.m. on Thursday. On Friday, DPW focused on “cleaning up around intersections, traffic islands and other areas left by the big plows,” according to Lacasse.
Lacasse also broke down how snow removal went for DPW.
“[O]ur 6 big plow trucks had to stay on major streets to keep them safe and passable,” he wrote to ELi over email. “Our dead-end/cul-de-sac trucks were tasked with pushing snow from local street intersections at major streets so that an impassable mound of snow did not build up as our team continuously cleared major streets.”
After the snow stopped, DPW transitioned to local streets. As for why some streets might appear to not have been plowed, Lacasse had this to say.
“By this time, there was a thick layer of packed down snow from traffic on the local roads which did not all get removed with plowing. As this layer melted over the weekend and was broken up by traffic, it made many local streets appear to not have been plowed.”
DPW is continuing to replow streets and will continue to do so throughout the week, according to Lacasse.
The City’s website states that DPW (The Department of Public Works & Environmental Services) is “responsible for plowing eight miles of state highway, 26 miles of major streets, 63 miles of local or residential streets and three miles of alleys.”
As for prioritization, according to the City’s site, crews focus on state highways and major streets; followed by residential street stops, hills, and corners; and last residential streets, alleys, and cul-de-sacs.
Regardless of how quickly your street was cleared of snow, consider filling out our survey. You are welcome to leave only your street or nearby intersection.