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Arlington, Marysville work to keep people safe during snow

 

Christopher Andersson

Arlington senior maintenance worker Don Johnson returns to the city's maintenance and streets building in his snow plow on the morning of Dec. 9 after plowing many of the city's streets.

Although large snowstorms are rare in the Pacific Northwest, local cities still prepare for them to keep the roads as safe as possible.

Both Marysville and Arlington had to get to work with their plans when they received about an inch of snow on Dec. 9.

Arlington's maintenance operations manager Leroy Mills said that the city maintenance workers were up in the early morning and were able to keep snow and ice off of their roads.

Marysville received up to two inches on some of their hills, said Connie Mennie, communications officer with the City of Marysville.

"They were able to keep up with removing snow on the arterials in the city and then started on some of the side streets," she said.

Mennie said that it was a "non-event" for the city as ice did not form on many of the roads.

"We're not aware of any big problems that occurred," she said, aside from a couple of "anecdotal reports" of spinouts.

Work begins for Marysville's crews if the local police department reports enough problems.

"We're notified by the police department because they work all hours of the day and we work closely with them," said Paul Kinney, Marysville's streets manager.

If the police say there will be a problem, they begin looking at the conditions of the road and brining out public works employees if necessary.

Arlington also relies on its police department to be one of the first reporters of snow. "They are oftentimes the best judge of road conditions," said Arlington's Communication Manager Kristin Banfield.

The city of Arlington puts all of their crews on standby when a storm is in the forecast. Those crews often work 12-hour shifts until the snow problem stays clear.

The city will begin plowing once one inch of snow accumulates, said Banfield.

Marysville currently has three large dump trucks with plows and sanders, one small dump truck with a plow and sander, and a one-ton dump truck with a plow and sander.

In addition they have a 300 gallon anti-ice tank.

Arlington has nine vehicles equipped to handle snow removal, including three large trucks and six smaller trucks.

They also have 450 yards of sand/salt mix to go whenever needed, which is enough to last three to four days of use at least, said Banfield.

Both Arlington and Marysville have maps on their websites which show their primary snow plow routes.

These roads are chosen based on the volume of traffic they receive, the amount of corners they have and the amount of dangerous hill they have, said Kinney.

Other factors include how often the streets are used by public safety vehicles and streets that connect neighborhoods.

Marysville designates primary routes and secondary routes that will be taken care of as resources allow.

Banfield said that Arlington officials try to get to side streets as time allows as well.

"It is important to remember that the city only plows city streets," she added, so roads like Jordan Road, Burn Road and Arlington Heights Road are Snohomish County's responsibility.

Kinney advises Marysville residents to sign up for traffic alerts, which can be found at marysvillewa.gov on the front page under the "Traffic alerts" button.

He recommends having adequate tires and vehicles to drive in snow, but the safest option is always to avoid driving.

"If we end up getting snow, use caution and don't travel unless it's necessary," he said.

To view the city of Arlington's snow removal map, go to http://bit.ly/2hdFhsU. For information about the City of Marysville's snow removal, go to http://bit.ly/2hjaNU1.

 

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