Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Some roads were still tough or even impossible to navigate Wednesday after this week's record snowfall.
For example, a stretch of 37th Street North in northeast Sedgwick County was closed for several hours while a front end loader was brought in to clear snow. Keeping township roads clear is not an easy task.
"You're lucky if the snow isn't already melted before they get around to a second pass," said Bob Dodson, who lives in Payne Township northeast of Wichita.
He acknowledges the delays are because the township has less money, equipment and manpower. Plus, snow-clearing equipment cannot move as quickly on country roads as it can on city streets and county blacktops.
"They're all dirt, so they're not able able to run at 40 miles per hour, pushing that snow off at high speeds," Dodson said. "It takes a little longer."
However, even after roads have been cleared, they don't remain that way.
"We kept opening the road, it kept drifting shut, people kept getting stuck, so we closed two roads for that reason," said Payne Township Trustee Bob Pippin.
One of those roads was the mile of 37th Street North between Greenwich Road and 127th Street East. The operator of the front end loader that was clearing the road had to navigate around a pickup that was stuck in a snow drift.
Dodson said poor road conditions after a winter storm are just part of living in the country. He said he has seen worse conditions than those experienced this week.
"It was a little bit drier than the snow we got this time and it drifted more," he said. "And I had chest-deep drifts up the driveway."
The township does as well as it can with only one full-time employee and a few volunteers, Dodson said.
"For the resources they have, I think they do a decent job," he said.
Payne Township has a road grader with snow plow, a plow truck and a front end loader. Other townships have even less equipment -- many of them only have a grader -- making it tougher to keep up with weather like this week's.