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Columbia Public Works completes first snow response with new routes

After inches of snow fell across areas of Mid-Missouri, road crews plowed more streets than usual.

Columbia Public Works this year added about 50 miles of roadways to their workload in the form of third-priority snow routes. Before the addition, there were only first and second priority streets.

“We’re trying to increase efficiency without increasing too much cost," said department spokesperson Barry Dalton.

Major roads like Broadway, Providence and Old 63 are the main focus of road crews whenever winter weather hits Columbia, but the addition of dozens of smaller streets to their routine will make it easier for residents to get around, Dalton said.

The third-priority roads were touched on by plows on Monday, and were cleared by Tuesday afternoon before all crews retired for the evening. They will be on standby in case the department received reports of slick spots, according to Dalton.

"All the men and women of the street division of the city really worked hard for 36 hours straight," he said.

Click here for a map of all first, second and third priority roads in Columbia.

The added workload comes with no additional boost in the budget. The city has not added any trucks to Public Works' fleet since 2014, and has only brought just four workers since 2010.

In a November report to the Columbia City Council, the department said recruiting and retaining staff is a challenge.

"Personnel turnover still remains a concern," the report said. Read it in full below.

https://abc17news.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/COMO-Public-Works-winter-weather-report.pdf
Boone / Columbia / Columbia City Government / Columbia Video / Top Stories / Transportation / Video / Weather Alert Day

Barry Mangold

Barry Mangold reports for ABC 17 News on weekday evenings and anchors weekend evening broadcasts.

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