Snow removal operations, online city map: Bismarck Public Works asking for patience

Snow removal operations map Bismarck
Snow removal operations map Bismarck(City of Bismarck)
Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 4:49 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - With snow and ice-covered roads, drivers in Bismarck want to know which roads are safer to drive on for their day-to-day commutes.

Bismarck Public Works offers a snow removal operations map that shows which streets in the city have been plowed, which are being worked on, and which are up next. During the November snowstorm, the public was utilizing this map, and many were upset about the map not updating automatically. With this month’s storm, the map didn’t update until all the streets were plowed.

“We’re trying to update the map as often as we can, but it’s still a manual process. One of the things citizens have to remember is, it’s the same people doing the mapping as doing the snow fighting, so we ask that everyone just have patience,” said Steve Salwei, director of Public Works service operations.

Both Steve Salwei and Keith Glass, the roads and street superintendent, say many times, crews are pulled out of their route to assist in an emergency.

Updating the map is a manual process as plow operators come in between shifts and trace the streets they did, which is then transferred to the online map. Emergencies and reroutes are common in severe weather events, and those at Public Works felt it was best to update only as roads are finished.

Plow drivers work 12-hour shifts, all day and night. Drivers update finished roads as soon as they can, but their main priority is making sure streets are safe to drive on.