December 9, 2013, 3 p.m.
Eugene Public Works made some headway on clearing packed snow and ice from priority routes on Monday. But most roadways remain covered with packed snow and ice, and Tuesday morning’s commute will probably be a repeat of Monday morning’s conditions.
“Even though these aren’t desirable conditions, many streets in Eugene are drivable, even those with packed snow and ice,” said Public Works Public Affairs Manager Eric Jones. Safe driving tips include going slow, leaving plenty of stopping distance, and taking it easy on turns. Chains are advised, particularly on vehicles being driven in the south hills. An emergency parking ban on priority routes remains in effect and will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.
Public Works crews have been able to get portions of major routes down to bare pavement, and they will continue to plow streets where the packed snow is breaking up.
However, on most streets the continuing deep freeze does not allow for effective plowing because the packed ice has adhered to the frozen asphalt below. The department uses plow blades with rubber edges to protect underground utility vaults, traffic loops, paving markings and other surface elements that are part of an urban roadway. Instead, the department will treat icy surfaces with sand for traction and wait for the packed ice to loosen up so it can be plowed off the street.
Since the weather event began on Dec. 6, crews have put down more than 500 cubic yards of sand. More than 650 personnel hours have been logged, and response expenditures to date exceed $75,000.
For additional information about the ice-snow emergency, go to www.eugene-or.gov/snow. To report hazardous situations in the public rights of way, call 541-682-4800 or online at www.eugene-or.gov/pwservice. Requests for service will be responded to based on public safety priorities and availability of resources.