Sunday, May 29, 2016

Civic Systems: Snow Removal

Matthew and Gabe ushered in the Awesome Vehicles portion of our Civic Exhibitions with their tour around the Field Operations unit of Ann Arbor's city services, a few minutes south of Summers-Knoll off Ellsworth Road. First, our host Kirk Frederickson explained the priority system of snow removal in Ann Arbor: how much snow brings out the trucks; who gets service first, and why; how long it takes; how use of sand and salt has reduced the environmental impact of this city service; and the reduction in wintertime accidents that can be attributed to salt and plowing. Then, the good stuff. First, Kirk showed us around one of the city's six $160,000 snow trucks. (It was Matthew's father who figured out where the air horn was.) Then, we got to look inside the salt dome, where thousands of tons of salt are stored for use every winter. Some climbing and salt-sliding followed.

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