Duluth Snow Plows Out in Force After Historic Storm

After nearly two feet of snow, plow drivers in the city of Duluth are working more than 16 hours a day to clear the 530 miles of streets.

DULUTH, Minn. – The city of Duluth plows have been out working overtime making sure the streets are getting cleaned up.

After nearly two feet of snow, plow drivers in the city of Duluth are working more than 16 hours a day to clear the 530 miles of streets.

The city employs 35 drivers to operate their nearly 50 plows and graders.

So far, the drivers are beating their set timelines for clearing all the powder.

“We should be through the residentials in the next either today or tomorrow and punching into our alleys and our tier threes we are hoping to get everything in the next couple of days,” said Chad Bednar, the manager of street maintenance at the city of Duluth.

City plow drivers typically work from 2 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. which means they are working 16 hours a day to make the city as safe as possible.

“We’re just trying to do the best we can with getting these roads clear and getting people able to be able to move again and get out on the road and get to work,” said Danielle Johnson, a heavy equipment operator at the city of Duluth.

When the snow is fresh it is easy for a plow to push through the neighborhoods, but after hours of other vehicles driving on the snow, it makes a plow’s job much more difficult.

“If any snowmobiles or any cars trucks have tried to punch through the neighborhood now we have to only use or motor graters to punch a hole because we don’t have enough down pressure on the plow trucks to even get into the neighborhoods,” said Bednar.

Though plow drivers are working many hours, plow driver Johnson says she loves feeling like she makes a difference.

She also just enjoys driving the plow.

“It’s pretty awesome I won’t lie it’s kind of an adrenaline rush I really like doing it. Once we are in the zone in a heavy snow fall like this I feel like we really just go hard until we can get it done,” says Johnson.

Along with clearing the streets, the city will work on clearing all the big mounds of snow at intersections to improve sightlines.

The city will also be trucking the snow out of the city to their designated snow dump locations.

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