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Crews clear overnight snow

Published On: Feb 21 2013 07:00:28 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 22 2013 11:42:30 AM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

Crews worked overnight to salt and plow Madison's main streets and Metro bus routes as a winter storm moved into the area.

Southern Wisconsin is under a winter weather advisory until 6 p.m. Friday. WISC-TV meteorologist Gary Cannalte said snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches are expected through Friday with the heaviest amounts toward Grant County.

Thirty trucks were added to Madison streets at 5 a.m. to keep the main streets open, according to Madison Streets Superintendent Chris Kelley.

Madison will also have a few trucks dedicated to sanding potential slick spots.

Madison Street Division policy is to only hit residential streets once and if at least 3 inches of snow has fallen.

Inches of ice ruts from the last storm are testing drivers on residential streets in Madison.

Temperatures moving up and down has caused ice ruts on Tottenham Road on Madison's far west side.

"Right now, I'm fixing another car because, going out, the car got messed up, ripped pretty bad," said Willie Hardnett, who lives on Tottenham Road.

The Madison Streets Division said it's using graters to give crews the extra strength to scrape through the concrete-like ruts.

"The plows weigh about 1,700 pounds, so you're not getting the down pressure that you would get with that, where that weighs about 60,000 pounds," said Thomas Sarbacker, a street machine operator.

"(We have) two end loaders out on each side of town, and a grater out on each side of town, and we're doing it as complaints come in, we've been taking care of it. But you've got to do it in between the snowstorms," Kelley said.

The city's policy not to salt its residential streets is keeping those ruts tightly packed and hard to push through.

"There's times I got the front tires off the ground. I'm scraping the road and it's just glazing it over; it's not even peeling it up. So it's a constant battle," Sarbacker said.

"It's pretty good they clear out the main roads, but I think they could do a little better on the side roads also," Hardnett said.

And with another storm looming, crews know they won't get to every rut, which is why they urge residents to remain patient.

"Is it easier to shovel your driveway before you've driven on it, or after you've driven on it? Well, you multiply that by thousands of cars against one snowplow, and one snowplow's going to lose every time," Sarbacker said.

As the snow falls, Madison is reminding residents to make sure their sidewalks are shoveled to avoid fines.

Already this winter, 750 people in Madison have been fined for not shoveling their walks.

The recent rain and extreme cold have iced over city sidewalks.

"In the last week or so, I've taken over a dozen phone calls from people who've slipped, fallen, broken bones," said Kyle Bunnow, a housing inspection supervisor for the city of Madison.

Bunnow said the city has received many complaints recently.

"This winter, so far, we've taken over 1,500 complaints, and I'd say we've taken 500 or so in the last two weeks," Bunnow said.

After the city receives a complaint, crews come out and take a look at the offending path. The fine is $114 for a first offense, and $177 for any offenses after that.

People can file a complaint about a sidewalk that isn't shoveled on the city of Madison's website under the "Winter" section. People can also find information on the website on where they can get free sand to put on their sidewalks.

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