Grand Island prepares for first significant snowfall

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - With Thursday being projected as the first significant snow for Grand Island, the street department has some plans in place on how to handle the weather.

Projects like the one at State Street and Highway 281 took some steps to stay ahead.

Grand Island has had many construction setbacks due to weather this year but the city is trying to stay on deadline amidst winter weather.

The street department says they are prepared for plowing around the many projects throughout town.

“It will affect us slightly... these smaller closures, the guys will deal with it as they come up to it,” Street Superintendent Shannon Callahan said.

The big project on 281 is supposed to be wrapping up in January and crews moved ahead with cement pouring to beat the cold but they could still expect some delays from snow.

“Before we had the cold snap we were getting it opened up within five days,” Project Manager Bob Nordhues said. “But it depends on how our cylinders break and we will test them probably in four or five days. So we are hoping to have this opened back up by next Wednesday.”

In other areas where there isn't construction, there are plans in place on where plows will make stops. Once it starts to be days where it snows more than six inches, the street department says they are going to start focusing on emergency snow routes.

They are marked by white and blue signs and they'll plow those first and also other high traveled roads.

The street department will post on their website and social media when those snow routes will go into effect. There will be no parking allowed on those routes to make it easier to clear during those times. The emergency routes are chosen by how much they are needed in urgent situations.

“Most of our roads are collectors or arterials so they have higher traffic volumes and they are also frequently used by the Fire or Police Department,” Callahan said.

Construction crews urge people to use caution when they do drive in the snow near work sites.

The street department says that since the ground will still be warm and the temperatures will be rising this weekend the snow shouldn't pose too much of a problem once the snowfall stops.