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City snow crews hit Topeka streets for trial run on Thursday morning

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 6:19 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Though none of the white stuff was falling through the air, snowplows took to Topeka streets Thursday morning to get ready for the upcoming winter season.

City street maintenance crews were conducting what officials called winter operations “dry run” to make sure equipment was working.

One after the other, snowplows took off around 7:45 a.m. from the city’s public works lot at 201 N.W. Topeka Blvd..

New drivers were scheduled to be working with veteran snowplow operators to become familiarized with their routes and equipment, city officials said.

Tracking equipment on the snowplows also was to be tested.

“Today, we’re doing our dry run,” said Tony Trower, deputy director of operations for the city of Topeka’s public works department. “We’re going through all of our equipment that we’ve calibrated and making sure that it’s all operating correctly and functioning.”

Trower said snowplows are equipped with devices that provide tracking information, indicating streets that the vehicles have plowed and treated.

Trower said the information will be included on the city of Topeka’s website.

James A. Jackson, director of public works for the city of Topeka, said Thursday’s “dry run” would help get the workers ready for the upcoming winter season.

“What we hope happens,” Jackson said, “is that our team really comes to appreciate the systems that we’ve put in place and how they work together as an integrated body.”

Jackson said that after snow events, crews will be to get the streets cleared for local residents and city employees, including police and firefighterse.

“Our primary goal here in the department,” Jackson said, “is to ensure that we provide safe streets and that we’re able to treat the city streets with the materials that we have to keep the motorists safe.”

Jackson said the city would pretreat streets with a brine solution including 26 to 28 percent sodium chloride. Snow events of 2 or more inches also would be treated by snowplows and also a sodium chloride solution.

While many Topeka residents would be glad if the snowplows didn’t have to be used at all in the coming months, some who drive the big machines say they don’t mind the winter weather.

“I kind of like the wet weather and the snow,” said Ted Wright, an equipment operator for the city of Topeka. “So, yeah, it doesn’t bother me.”

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