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Residents patient as crews work to clear Indianapolis streets

DPW calls in contractors to help clear snow
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Posted at 8:34 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 20:38:49-05

INDIANAPOLIS - Andrew Daza spent Tuesday morning shoveling snow off of the sidewalk in front of his building in Washington Street.

“While we’re standing here shoveling I’ve seen a couple accidents people hit the brakes and they end up sliding into the middle of the street,” Daza said.

WRTV watched as several drivers became stuck after attempting to turn off Washington Street into a shopping center parking lot. One van was eventually pushed out by a group of firefighters who stopped in their truck to help out.

The main roads were rough in some areas, but the side streets were more challenging. Several drivers left spinning their wheels until neighbors gave them a hand.

“The roads are bad,” Daza said.

Jenny Barr, who lives in a neighborhood off Washington Street, says it’s all about patience when it comes to this much snow.

“I’ve drove on this all my life. I’m from Indiana, I’m from this side of town this is nothing new,” said Barr. “Just take your time, slow down, do not get in a hurry. That’s all it takes. A little consideration, kindness and watch what you’re doing.”

Her neighbor Joe Almick says we’ve been fortunate when it comes to winter weather, “We’ve been lucky here’s the middle of February and this is the first big one we got.”

It’s also the first time in five years that the Indianapolis Department of Public Works has called in their contractor crews to help.

“We did call in our two contractors to start working on the 300 centerline miles of residential connectors that we have identified,” said Dan Parker, Director of Indianapolis Department of Public Works.

The contracting companies have 24 hours to get the 300 miles of connector streets cleared off. The contractors are paid $480 per inch per centerline mile. Parker says the total cost of this storm is around $150,000.

Department of Public Works also has crews working in the downtown area to clear snow from parking lanes.

Most of their crew members will continue to concentrate on primary and secondary thoroughfares. Parker says North-South streets will be in better condition than East-West streets due to the winds.

Between this week and last week, many of the crew members have worked eight or nine 12-hour shifts, but they are determined to get the job completed.

“Anyone from DPW is not happy until the job is done,” said Parker.

They expect some drifting snow overnight Tuesday which could cause some snow on the East-West streets, but overall the roads should be much improved by Wednesday morning.