By MJ Brickey
City of McAlester street crews were set to work double shifts throughout the weekend to try and clear as much snow and ice from city streets as possible.
“We will be working Saturday and Sunday, too,” said McAlester Public Works Operational Supervisor Timmy Don Adams on Friday. “Most of the guys are working double shifts, 16 hours.”
Salt crews and operators for a front end loader, four backhoes and a motor grader were all part of the effort to clear city streets.
Adams said Friday he would prefer that people stay in if they could, but if they had to drive he had some suggestions.
“Try to stay on the main roads and try not to take the hills,” he said.
Adams said different city crews were working on the primary roads and on the secondary roads. The main roads included Strong Boulevard, South Street, Carl Albert Parkway, Electric Avenue, A Street and Main Street, he said.
The main route to McAlester Regional Health Center on Strong Boulevard had been bladed by Friday afternoon and workers were moving onto other streets, he said.
“On the primary roads, we’re trying to blade down to the streets,” Adams said. “If we don’t get as much off as we can, it will be on for five or six days.
“Once we get the snow and ice off, it will hopefully freeze-dry out,” he said, referring to heat from the pavement or the asphalt helping keep the street clear.
“On the secondary streets, we’re going to do either side of the intersections so when drivers come up to a stop sign, they will be able to stop.”
City crews had planned to start on Choctaw Avenue and work down Second Street, Third Street and Sixth Street, he said.
“We’ll be doing the same thing, trying to clear the stuff from the streets.”
Adams said plans called for the crews to work until 11 p.m. Friday and then from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday.
The supervisor asked that drivers use extreme caution when approaching city crews trying to clear the streets and avoid driving up on them before trying to come to a sudden stop. Also, he said, be aware that trucks and heavy equipment will be backing up at times.
If some instances, crews will team up so they can clear an area more quickly. Each crew will have a salt truck behind it, Adams said. After an intersection or street is cleared, the salt truck will come in to salt it.
Contact James Beaty at firstname.lastname@example.org.