DENVER (CBS4) - Light duty plows were hitting the residential streets in Denver on Tuesday, clearing snow from those side streets to help keep drivers safe. The plows will clear snow from 1,300 lane miles.
"What will happen here is our light duty plows will make a single pass down each residential street, they will go down the center of each street," said Denver Public Works spokeswoman Nancy Kuhn. "They won't bring the street to bare pavement but they will shave off the top few inches of snow and make the roads more passable. That's their goal to prevent rutting and make the streets more drive-able."
The Residential Plow Program is activated when winter weather forecasts more than a foot of snow and combines with prolonged freezing temperatures. It was created after the so called Snowpalooza of 2006.
The alleys will not be cleared, only the streets. Denver Public Works deployed 80 plows on Tuesday working 12-hour shifts.
"It's going to take perhaps most of the 12 hours to get through every residential street," said Kuhn.
At that time the city will reassess whether those streets need another pass by plows.
"It could take until this afternoon or even this evening," said Kuhn.
Drivers might have to do a little extra digging out if a plow passes while their vehicle is parked on the street. But some residents told CBS4 that if the residential plows weren't out they wouldn't have been able to use their vehicles at all.
"We weren't really happy about it because the last major snowstorm our street was icy for weeks after -- even after all the snow had melted," one Denver resident said.
"It would be impossible to get anywhere without that happening," another said.
The major concern overnight into Wednesday morning is the dropping temperatures creating more ice on the roads and around vehicles that haven't been dug out.
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