MADISON (WKOW) -- Wednesday's snowfall means Madison streets crews are working hard trying to keep up before the cold sets in.
Workers with the City of Madison Streets Department started plowing a little earlier than they normally would during a storm, because of the cold temperatures expected as the night goes on. They hope to get as much snow off the roads as possible before it freezes solid and won't budge.
"The freezing is what concerns us," says superintendent Chris Kelley. "We don't want hard pack on the roads with ruts. That's why we're plowing a little earlier. We normally plow when snow's done."
Once the snow's gone, plows will begin salting and sanding. The whole operation is expected to take all night, wrapping up around 2 or 3 a.m. on Thursday, so it'll be a long day for crews who have been out since 3 a.m. Wednesday.
The streets department hopes that people can help them out by moving cars off the streets and clearing the ends of driveways, without pushing snow back into the streets.
The city has declared a snow emergency, which means alternate side parking rules are in effect throughout the entire city, including the downtown/isthmus snow emergency zone. Drivers can find free parking at downtown ramps between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. the next two nights. Cars should be parked on the odd side of the street for the next two nights, because of two consecutive odd dates in a row.
Kelley says cars parked on the street during storms is one of the biggest challenges plow drivers face, because each car actually takes up the space of three and crews have to go back to the area to plow again once cars are removed.
"It costs a lot of money to ticket and tow and then get the snow out of there to haul it away. This way we can plow and be done with it the first time," says Kelley.
Cars on the street also cause challenges when temperatures drop after a snowfall, because the snow freezes around the car and often can't be removed until it warms up.
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