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Weekend Of Snow And Ice Causes City To Reevaluate Roadway Response

Kathleen J. Davis
90.5 WESA
Snow lines Bedford Square on Pittsburgh's South Side.

In a statement released Tuesday, Mayor Bill Peduto said the city needs a better strategy to address snow and ice on Pittsburgh streets.

Department of Public Works employees worked back-to-back 12-hour shifts throughout the weekend to address the sleek roads, the mayor said. But the onslaught of ice and snow stretched the city's resources.

Tim McNulty, spokesman for Peduto, said this weekend's weather showed the need for a better snow removal system.

"Clearly what happened this weekend was very, very difficult, starting with the freezing rain and the snow on top of that," he said. "Typically, we're able to do a little bit of a better job than we did this time, so that's why these changes are necessary."

Peduto's plan for action includes investing in more road salt and liquid calcium chloride while studying other chemical compositions that may work better. The city will also increase its Public Works presence on nights and weekends and get more drivers in the department.

The city will also open a request for proposals to redesign snow removal routes.

"We know this kind of weather is going to be coming around a lot," McNulty said. "Climate change is a reality and climate challenges are a reality."

In 2015, the city launched a snow plow tracker that can be accessed online. It gives residents real-time updates on where Public Works vehicles are located in the city.

Kathleen J. Davis covers news about just about anything at WESA. She’s also the primary reporter and producer of WESA’s weekly series Pittsburgh Tech Report. Kathleen originally hails from the great state of Michigan, and is always available to talk about suburban Detroit and Coney Island diners. She lives in Bloomfield.
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