‘Snow Pad’ helps keep Grand Island streets clear of snow

Have you ever wondered what happens to the snow once it’s cleared from the streets?
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 9:29 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - You may wonder what happens to the snow once it’s cleared from the street. In the largest of the Tri-Cities, Grand Island, most of it goes into a lot called the “Snow Pad.”

It’s near the intersection of East Bismark and South Stuhr Road and is owned by city utilities.

After the streets are plowed, the snow is hauled on a route that avoids train tracks. The operation consists of three motor graders and a loader with a snow blower attached. They put all the snow in the middle of the street, and eventually get it all blown into a dump truck.

“This location is fairly close to downtown,” said Shannon Callahan, Grand Island Street Superintendent. “We have a few routes we can take from the downtown area to here, and one of those includes a way to get here without going over railroad tracks.”

Shannon Callahan said the location is perfect for overnight snow removal because it’s a huge lot, and it’s away from residents.

She said avoiding train tracks is key because Grand Island has a lot of train traffic and waiting for one to pass can cause delays in clearing the street. Thursday night alone, crews cleared more than 3,000 cubic yards of snow.

“We were able to accomplish a lot the last two days, and we’ve got all the residential streets done,” Callahan said. “Any that we missed will be able to go back and get those this afternoon. We’ll do a little bit more touch-up on our main routes, but really the focus is going to be tonight getting the rest of that downtown area hauled away.”

Although Saturday’s snowfall totals won’t be close to Wednesday’s, there is still some level of concern.

“There would be a little bit of concern mostly for residential areas,” Callahan said. “We do plow curb to curb, we try to get as much snow off the roadway as possible. But in areas where people have parked or if it has got blown back into the roadway, if we get another snowfall then we can’t push it quite as far. because that other snow is blocking it.”

Callahan said other concerns may be drainage because the snow from Wednesday will take a while to melt.