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Main Street Snow Disappears Overnight

At Wednesday's sunset snow banks and slush was on and around the Main Street sidewalks. By Friday's sunrise it was gone.

Where did it go? Motorists must have been doing double-takes as they cruised into town Friday to find that the street  and its sidewalks were bare and dry - especially since they had cruised out of town on Thursday evening with snow drifts and slush in their rear-view mirrors.

In a Herculean effort, a Department of Public Works crew spent the night scraping, shoveling, spraying, and dumping the snow to make the streets and sidewalks safer for motorists and pedestrians.

"It is a service for the business owners in town but, more importantly, a safety measure to ensure people can get out of the passenger-side doors rather than having to get out on the street," said Town Manager, Bill Sequino. "We've been doing this for quite a while, now - not for each and every snowfall, but when there is a lot of it. Like with this storm and during the holiday season when the stores need customers." 

Joe Duarte, Director of Public Works agreed, "It costs between $2,500 and $5,00o depending on the amount of snow and if we do it in one night or two." "It's actually better, quicker, and cheaper to do it in one night." "It's a nice benefit for the stores that are more densely packed and have greater foot traffic (than stores south of First Avenue)."

Steve Villari, Owner of Colonial Shoe Repair, voiced his thanks, both as a business owner and town resident. "It's wonderful and I appreciate the town doing it," he said.

The DPW crew systematically attacks the snow: 

The Bombardier (small caterpillar-drive plow) plows the banks on the curb-sides to get the snow into the gutter. A Bobcat (small front loader) scrapes snow from the edges of the buildings to the street. Workers manually shovel in the nooks and crannies, and a large snow thrower transfers the snow from the street into a large dump truck that deposits the snow at the Town Municipal Cove Overlook parking lot.

"We contain the material according to an accepted Department of Environmental Management practice of putting hay bales around the one storm drain in the parking lot," said Duarte. "That way the sand and other contaminants are filtered out of the melt runoff and don't get into the Cove."

Steve Villari actually sat up and watched the action from his living room above his shop, "It's not a quiet night, but God bless them, they work hard."

Alicarn December 31, 2010 at 05:55 PM
I continue to be impressed with Joe Duarte and the crew from the Public Works department. It's nice to see municipal workers working for the community. Great job, as usual!
steve cinquegrana January 01, 2011 at 04:40 PM
As a business owner on Main St, I can't thank all the town workers enough for the great service that they provide in removing the snow from our sidewalks. All residents of East Greenwich should be very proud of Main St. for it's historic beauty and for the money it contributes to the general fund in the form of meal taxes and tourism. Hats off to Bill Sequino, our Town Council and Joe Duarte for recognizing the importance of a viebrent downtown.
GD January 04, 2011 at 11:39 PM
I feel that the snow should be rem0ved from the sidewalks even on Post Road. It is not safe for pedestrians to have to walk in the street to get down the road. My son walks that road home from school for a small portion and it worries me that he may have to walk in the road. As the night falls it is even more dangerous for people walking in the road as motorists can't really see them until it's too late. There is a lot of foot travel on Post Road. From walkers, bikers, joggers and parents pushing their baby in a stroller. Please make it safe for all.

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