How suburban public works crews deal with massive amounts of snow

  • Glenn Adams, street unit foreman snow commander for Arlington Heights, gives scale to the huge amount of snow that crews hauled from village streets and parking lots to the public works storage grounds.

    Glenn Adams, street unit foreman snow commander for Arlington Heights, gives scale to the huge amount of snow that crews hauled from village streets and parking lots to the public works storage grounds. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Glenn Adams, street unit foreman snow commander for Arlington Heights, gives scale to the huge pile of snow at the public works storage grounds. It was hauled there by crews removing snow this week from village locations, including the three parking garages, six surface parking lots and the downtown area.

    Glenn Adams, street unit foreman snow commander for Arlington Heights, gives scale to the huge pile of snow at the public works storage grounds. It was hauled there by crews removing snow this week from village locations, including the three parking garages, six surface parking lots and the downtown area. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/5/2021 5:38 PM

While homeowners may be wondering where to pile shoveled snow after a week that has featured plenty of it, suburban public works officials face the same problem many times over.

In clearing parking garages, downtown streets and subdivision cul-de-sacs, many public works officials have been hauling tons of snow to their facilities and storage yards, where it can be stored out of the way and melt -- eventually -- without flooding neighborhoods.

 

When there is 18 inches of snow on the ground and it is freezing solid, "that's when it can get treacherous," said Scott Shirley, Arlington Heights public works director.

Crews are removing the snow from the village's three parking garages and six surface parking lots, as well as from the downtown area.

All of that snow is moved to the village's material storage yard on East Davis Street.

"This happens about every three years," Shirley said, referring to the amount of snow on the ground and the subzero temperatures that keep it from melting quickly. "But it's business as usual."

The village has plenty of room, he said.

"We are comfortable at the moment," Mundelein Public Works Director Adam Boeche said of snow removal and storage efforts.

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"The snow plan we've created gives us locations to store the snow."

The downtown area is the primary focus of the snow removal in Mundelein.

All of the snow currently is being taken to the public works facility, where there is plenty of room, Boeche said.

The situation is much the same in Naperville.

Naperville spokeswoman Linda LaCloche said crews loaded snow from the downtown area for two nights and have it stored at the former public works department.

Naperville designed a location there for snow storage that has drainage for once the snow begins to melt.

As for running out of room to store the snow, LaCloche says there are no concerns and no problems are anticipated.

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