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Bitter cold prolongs icy roads on secondary streets

More days with temperatures below freezing are ahead
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 6:59 PM CST
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PEORIA (HEART OF ILLINOIS ABC) - Having only one day this week with temperatures above freezing, the snow pack on the roads have become a thick sheet of ice. Sie Maroon, Deputy Director of Operations for Peoria Public Works, said “Well, by the time we get to the residential streets, it’s unfortunate, but they are ice packed, or snow packed. And a lot of that is caused by travel of the vehicle before we get there and of course the temperatures. The temperatures play a big role, not just air temperature, but ground temperature.”

Residential roads remain icy due to the bitter cold
Residential roads remain icy due to the bitter cold(25 News Staff)

The bitter cold following the storm has allowed for the ice to stick around, and crews are adapting. Maroon added, “What we’re dealing with now with the colder temperatures, we’ve added a chemical to the rock salt, and we’re still continuing to treat some areas. We’ve already done a complete run through of the city streets, as of yesterday.” Plowing and salting rules differ depending on where you live. For example, Peoria Public Works mentioned they pretreat roads prior to winter events, but East Peoria does not. Also, in East Peoria there is no bare pavement policy, meaning they are not required to plow every secondary street unless there is at least 2 inches of snow. Rick Semonski, Street Department Supervisor for the East Peoria Public Works, said, “It really boils down to the equipment, manpower, time and material. We typically won’t even address side streets unless there’s more than two or more inches of snow. We usually don’t salt, the only thing we salt and plow everything are hills, slopes, curves and stop signs.”

Bitter cold prolongs icy roads life
Bitter cold prolongs icy roads life(25 News Staff)

Not having the equipment, manpower, and materials is a big concern anywhere, and Semonski says the change is up to the elected leaders. He added, “With over 800 streets in East Peoria along with only 8 plows and salt trucks, it is unrealistic... It is up to the tax payers, it all boils down to the cost. To have every street down to bare pavement would be very expensive. The City of East Peoria spends about 400,000 dollars a year for salt, so if we were to do every single street, then we’re talking about four times that amount.” For now, be careful and drive safe when driving on ice. If you would like to request attention to your neighborhood, you can call your local Public Works.

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