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City of Akron reveals 5-point snow and ice removal plan ahead of winter season

Posted: 8:56 AM, Oct 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-09 13:03:00-04
File image of snow-covered streets.

AKRON, Ohio — Ahead of the winter season, the City of Akron revealed a five-point plan to remove snow and ice on city and residential streets on Wednesday.

“Last winter we experienced a once-in-a-decade snow storm, which ended up revealing some unacceptable weaknesses in our system,” Director of Public Service John Moore said in a news release. “After that event, we immediately got to work critically evaluating every aspect of our strategy, with a commitment to being better prepared, across the board.”

The city revealed the plan as follows:

1. More Plow Trucks and Equipment

  • Ended ODOT maintenance contract for highways, allowing 5 more 15-ton plow trucks to be available for plowing City streets
  • 3 new replacement 5-ton trucks allowing additional backup equipment in major events
  • 13 additional smaller 1-ton trucks outfitted with plows and/or salt spreaders which will be used for complaint-response in every City ward.
  • More aggressive maintenance schedules and opening additional City facilities (including the Copley Road facility) for maintenance work to reduce plows being out of service when they’re needed most

2. Better Access to Salt

  • Market is recovering from extreme salt supply shortage last winter with more materials available nationwide
  • Already secured commitment on our full quantity of salt at approx. 25,000 tons
  • More salt available for City streets without ODOT maintenance agreement.

3. Route Revisions

  • Recrafting of routes on City street allowing quicker completion, and minimize travel times between routes, materials and service locations.
  • Continuing work with logistics experts to maximize effectiveness and efficiency
  • Outside contractors will have access to pre-assigned areas for emergency assistance

4. Enhanced Training

  • Providing additional in-truck training of new plow drivers by experienced operators
  • Working with simulator vendors and partners to provide enhanced classroom training

5.Improved Policies & Technology

  • Working with City Council to adopt improvements to the Parking Ban procedure including earlier notification
  • Supervisors in the field will have better access to Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) system, 3-1-1 service requests, work order management in real time.
  • Internal Constant Improvement Team established to review responses to events and make changes and improvements before the next event.

ODOT confirmed Akron is ending its agreement with ODOT for the city to plow highways, which means ODOT will now plow Akron highways this winter, instead of Akron city crews.

Last year, News 5 reported several times when school buses were stuck on residential streets.

RELATED: Akron City Schools joins parents in frustration after 12 buses get stuck in snow