By Julie McCay Turner
A full staff was on hand at the Department of Public Works building early Monday morning. Behind the closed doors of the building’s garage bays, orderly final preparations were underway for what many predict will be a long-lasting, monster-sized storm.
Multiple spreader trucks stood ready, fully loaded with a salt/sand mixture and with their bright yellow plows in place. Tire chains were being installed to facilitate safe passage over snowy roads, and a replacement cutting blade was being added to the edge of a plow on one of the department’s pick-up trucks.
According to Highway Operations Manager Earle Elliott, 44 pieces of equipment will work the storm: 22 DPW vehicles and 22 units operated by contractors who will help to keep Bedford’s 80 miles of roads clear during and after the blizzard. DPW crews will work through the day, calling in the contractors to cover the swing and overnight shifts.
Public Works Engineer Adrienne St. John explained that there are two stages to Bedford’s road clearing process. Plowing will begin late Monday and continue through duration of the storm. Once the precipitation ends, the DPW will switch to a salting and sanding operation to assure clear road surfaces.
Up to four front-end loaders will be on hand to clear the parking lots at Town Center and those adjacent to Bedford’s schools. Although the salt and sand sheds at the DPW’s Carlisle Road facility seemed full to an untrained eye, St. John pointed out that back-up supplies are on order to avoid running low.
While the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore traveled to Massaschusetts on Sunday and all forecasts point to an immense storm, the Bedford DPW will be prepped and ready.