Snow strategy: How the city of DP manages conditions in the winter

Michael Brock

In order for Deer Park’s City Maintenance crew to go out and plow snow, there needs to either be four inches on the ground at the time or three inches and it’s still snowing.

“If we get an inch-and-a-half or two inches, yeah it’s sloppy, but it’s not really cost effective to go out and do anything with it,” said Brad Wainwright, supervisor of maintenance services for the city of Deer Park.

Wainwright and crew prefer to snowplow in the middle of the night, when the roads are clear of daytime traffic.

But sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

When it dumps all day, like it did in late December, the machines head out on their route, but it’s much slower and they’re only able to do the travel lanes downtown, as cars are parked everywhere.

"With snow plowing, the timing of the snow is everything,” Wainwright said.

When it snows for hours during the day, cars are constantly traveling on it and packing it down.

“If we plow Crawford and then we go plow the whole town, it’s eight or nine hours before we would ever get back to plow it again,” he said. “Well, if it snows the whole time and cars are traveling, there’s nine hours of them packing it down. Whereas the state, they’re only taking care of a little stretch of the highway and they just have trucks going back and forth all day.”

The city could have a grader going back and forth on Main and Crawford all day to keep that stretch clear, but then none of the neighborhoods would get cleared.

Read the full story in the January 20, 2021 edition of the Deer Park Tribune.