Bothell’s response to Snowmageddon | Guest editorial

Crews were able to respond to this event because of voters’ support of the 2016 Safe Streets and Sidewalks levy.

  • Wednesday, March 6, 2019 9:50pm
  • Opinion

By Andy Rheaume

Special to the Reporter

Thanks to all of you for heeding the city of Bothell’s warnings and staying off the roads during Snowmageddon, the largest snow accumulation in 50 years. We’re fortunate that there wasn’t any uptick in accidents or aid calls in the city of Bothell during the historical snow storms. I received no calls or complaints from residents throughout the two-week period, evidence that our community and our crews did a great job weathering the storm and responding to needs.

Driving from city to city and through unincorporated areas, I was incredibly impressed by Bothell’s response, and I hope you were, too. Did you know that our crews were able to respond like we did to this event because of your support of the 2016 Safe Streets and Sidewalks levy? The levy helps fund staff and equipment in our street operations division, enabling the city to plow and treat icy roads 24 hours a day for 13 days. If voters hadn’t passed the levy, our level of service for this and other storms would be much lower.

Bothell’s snow response by the numbers:

290 tons of manufactured sand (sand and salt mixed at a 50/50 ratio).

295 tons of road salt (290 tons for roads and five tons of bagged salt for parks and city facilities such as walkways and building entrances and fire department driveways).

3,500 gallons of liquid anti-ice.

1,187 hours of overtime for public works crew working 24 hours a day in 12-hour shifts for the 13-day event.

26 public works team members.

8 team members from parks and recreation with one day of 12-hour shifts and four hours of overtime for one employee.

Nearly 2,000 lane miles plowed. Crews focused on priority clearing routes initially and then began work in neighborhoods. Bothell has more than 300 lane miles of streets and crews plowed most of them at least twice for each of the three snowstorms.

3 commercial plow/spreader trucks; three trucks with a sander, plow or combination; three backhoe tractors, one small tractor and one barricade truck for road closures.

Thanks to those of you who dropped off goodies for our emergency responders and our “snow fighters.” Crews continue to clear downed trees and limbs from parks and streets. They are also removing sand from streets and storm drains. This work could take several more weeks. Give our folks a shout out if you see them and avoid areas marked off with caution tape.

Thanks again for playing it safe during Snowmageddon and for your support of our Safe Streets and Sidewalks levy. Get more information at www.bothellwa.gov/safestreets.

Andy Rheaume is the mayor of Bothell.

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