'It's like an amusement ride': Milwaukee alderman critiques snow clearing plan, DPW highlights challenges

NOW: ’It’s like an amusement ride’: Milwaukee alderman critiques snow clearing plan, DPW highlights challenges

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Some Milwaukee leaders raised concerns on Wednesday, Jan. 24 about the city's snow clearing efforts earlier this morning.

Alderman Lamont Westmoreland of the city's fifth district used Wednesday's Common Council Public Works Committee meeting to question DPW'S snow removal plan during the storm on January 12.

"I hear my constituents. I hear everybody, and I drive the same roads they drive, and it's like an amusement ride," Westmoreland said.

He said he has received dozens of complaints from residents on the city's northwest side about dangerous residential roads and lingering slush.

"I think now we're being reactive instead of proactive," Westmoreland said.

DPW leaders said the amount of snow mixed with a huge temperature drop put a strain on equipment and workers, even with a full staff working 12-hour shifts.

"The freezing temperatures made this challenging. We have not had a weather break until Monday, which means that snow-packed roadways on the side-streets have become an issue," said public works commissioner Jerrel Kruschke.

Danielle Rodriguez, DPW's director of operations, said the clearing plan was adjusted as weather conditions changed.

"We can make a decision, two hours later we might need to pivot. It really depends on what's happening real time. It's all dynamic, real time," Rodriguez explained.

In order to meet the speed of the deep freeze, Rodriguez said they had to make main streets fully passable and address residential roads quickly.

"We had to make the decision to do center lines immediately and as quickly as possible. We could not risk not getting to some street. We had to create some access points on every single street,' Rodriguez said.

Kruschke noted that snow clearing will never be perfect, but the department recognizes that there is room for improvement.

"This has just been a weird different storm. I think you've heard it from other communities across the state that it's been challenging with the deep freeze that's come on," Kruschke said. "Everything has been a lesson learned."

With higher temperatures, DPW trucks are now cleaning up slush and clearing intersections across the city.

They said residents should expect to see curb-to-curb improvements in the coming days.

Share this article: