FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Winter may be weeks away but already the City of Frederick and Frederick County are training to prepare for the future snowfall at the annual Snow Road-eo event.
“It’s kind of like a tank. They’re hard to drive in the snow. It’s a lot harder than you think,” explained Randall Boone with Frederick County Highway Operations.
For the first time this year, more than a hundred public works crew members for both the city and county stepped back into the vehicles they’ll soon use to clear snow off the roadways.
“We want to get prepared, we want to get everybody in the mindset of ‘it’s coming,’ explained street maintenance superintendent for the City of Frederick, Mike Winpigler, “In a month or two, we’re going to be faced with [snow], or sooner.”
These drivers got behind the wheel of one-ton and ten-ton trucks and maneuvered through an obstacle course that resembles the roadways they’ll drive though, including rounded bends like cul-de-sacs, and narrow streets like those with parked cars along the edges.
Boone has worked for the county for the last twelve years. He says one of the biggest changes he’s seen throughout his tenure is the addition of new county roads. Officials say the number of snow routes has risen and this year there are about 119.
“I would say the roads have actually grown a lot. We’ve picked up a lot of subdivisions, that’s our biggest one coming up,” Boone said.
And as for the amount of snow delivered by Mother Nature, crew members say they’ve seen more and more come down over the last decade.
“It’s been very dramatic as far as the volume. We no longer seem to have these two and three-inch events, it’s eight or ten,” Winpigler expressed.
Staffing for both the city and county has increased to accommodate retiring crew members and to become more efficient for snow removal.