Roads are on schedule to be plowed and no city bus routes have been cancelled, even after eight inches of snow in some parts of Juneau.
City crews began plowing roads at midnight Tuesday and will continue into the evening, said Transit Superintendent Ed Foster.
“We got all the priority one (roads) done last night and they’ll be redone before the day is over” if necessary, Foster said. The city has a total of 10 snow plows running during the day: five in the Mendenhall Valley and another five for Lemon Creek, downtown and Douglas, according to Foster.
Juneau’s main arterial roads such as Egan Drive and Glacier Highway are plowed by the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. State crews began plowing at 4 a.m. Tuesday, according to Foster. DOT could not immediately be reached for comment.
No bus routes have been cancelled because of the weather, according to Hal Kulm at Capital Transit.
The city designates roads for plowing on a three-tier basis. Priority one roads are high traffic and critical for emergency services and get plowed first. Riverside Drive in the Mendenhall Valley and Glacier Avenue downtown are both priority one.
Priority two roads are typically residential roads and given a lower priority based on speed and traffic volume, according to the city’s maintenance priority map. Priority three streets are usually dead ends and cul-de-sacs, according to the website.
Foster said most of the priority two roads should be done by the end of the business day Tuesday, but if there’s additional snow, crews may have to re-plow the main roads.
Beginning at roughly noon Monday, downtown Juneau and Douglas received about eight inches of snow, according to Daniel Hartsock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Juneau. The valley got about six inches while Auke Bay got only two, Hartsock said.
More snow is expected through midnight Tuesday, Hartsock said, with another two-three inches on the way.
“Wednesday evening is the best chance for the next heavier snow showers,” Hartsock said. “Starting Thursday not much snow but colder temperatures.”
The weather could start to clear up but Saturday and Sunday are expected to see highs in the teens, Hartsock said, while overnight lows could be in the single digits.
Because of light snow this winter, the city has been saving money by not having to plow, Foster said.
“There’s not a whole lot of snow so (the plowing) is going pretty quick,” Foster said. “When you see a plow with a flashing light, give ‘em some room.”