For $5K, Main Street Sidewalk Snow Goes Poof!

by | Feb 4, 2015

sidewalks w:o snow 1

The scene on Main Street Wednesday morning, just a couple of hours after DWP workers finished clearing all the snow from the sidewalks.

If you were walking on Main Street on Tuesday, you had to navigate among snow berms. By Wednesday morning, however, those snow berms were gone. Magic!

Not quite magic. Instead, a long night’s work.

The town’s public works department spent Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning shoveling and scooping up all the snow along Main Street from First Avenue to Division Street and bringing it to the upper parking lot at the town boat launch on Crompton Avenue.

sidewalks w:o snow 3

This sidewalk on London Street shows what the Main Street sidewalks looked like before they were cleared.

The snow mountains there cover more than half  the lot.

“This was more than we typically would bring  there,” said DPW head Joe Duarte. “We’ve had very  little melting and lots of snow in a short period.”

Duarte’s snow removal budget was looking good  until 10 days ago, when the “Juno” blizzard hit,  dumping 17 inches of snow on East Greenwich,  quickly followed by 5 more inches Thursday and  another 8 inches Monday.

“At the rate we’re going, this is not going to be a cheap year,” Duarte said Wednesday.

Clearing the snow off the Main Street sidewalks costs about $5,000, he said. The crew started at 10 p.m. Tuesday and went until around 7 a.m. Wednesday morning.

sidewalks w:o snow 4

A view of the sidewalk snow piled up on the boat launch upper parking lot on Crompton Avenue.

The town doesn’t remove the snow for every storm – only for big ones. Former Town Manager Bill Sequino said the town’s sidewalk clearing efforts predate his arrival in 1988. He guessed it got started because Main Street is a state road and the plows would push snow up to the curbs and over onto the sidewalks.

It’s helpful for anyone coming to Main Street, he said. Without clearing the snow off the sidewalks, even parking a car and getting out of it is a challenge.

EG Chamber of Commerce head Steve Lombardi said the town’s effort was well worth it.

“We are grateful to the town for removing the snow,” he said via email. “We know they have been dealing with a large volume and high frequency of snow, so the effort is appreciated. Removing the snow helps our merchants so their customers can have access to their places of business. Small businesses appreciate the help – every day they can welcome their customers is a plus.”

According to Duarte, there’s a chance the town won’t have to foot the bill for all the recent plowing and snow removal costs. The town has applied for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) money to help pay for blizzard expenses. No word yet from FEMA and more snow is in the forecast.


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6 Comments

  1. iris

    Yes, the snow men came in last night and did us such a wonderful job removing that snow. We are all as merchants so grateful to them for helping us all out. It is tough at this time of year to get people to come in the stores as it is but with the huge piles of snow it was even harder. It made everyone nervous with all the cars trying to pass and not much room . We give those men from the the DPW two thumbs up every time they do this. Thank you guys as always. Bags By Iris

    Reply
  2. Therese Vezeridis

    Thanks to the DPW workers for a job well done! The removal of mountains of snow on Main St is so helpful for everyone’s business!

    Reply
  3. Sara

    Looks great! This action was definitely needed as the snow banks had created unsafe conditions for both pedestrians and drivers. As a Main Street merchant, Sundance thanks the DPW and our town!!!

    Reply
  4. Mark

    I can recall EG getting a mini-bulldozer in the late ’60s to plow the sidewalks…

    Reply
  5. Dana

    Besos Ktchen and Cocktails sends a big THANK YOU!

    Reply
  6. karen

    Please send someone to remove the snow along the curb in front of the library,especially the handicapped space.

    Reply

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