Mayor Chris Beutler has announced that the snow removal district parking ban has been lifted. Parking is again permitted on both sides of the street in the City’s eight designated snow removal districts. Parking bans are not in effect at this time.
The second big storm of the season left nearly six inches of snow on the ground. Officials say they will work through the night on Wednesday and Thursday to clear the roads.
"We'll have a lot of people going tonight," said Scott Opfer, the city’s traffic and street manager. "We will pick up in the morning and probably do some more arterial clean up and residential clean up."
City crews have been out all night plowing snow and spreading salt on residential streets. Most of the streets had been cleared by 5 a.m., and 10 plows remain in the residential areas to finish up. About 19 crews also are working on the arterial streets, spreading sand for the morning commute.
However, snow isn't the main problem for road crews. With snow melting and temperatures dropping, ice becomes the major concern.
The forecast for Thursday calls for highs in the middle teens with wind chills likely below zero, according to 1011's meteorologist Rusty Dawkins. These cold temperatures could cause a challenge for road crews.
"People really need to be cognitive about that and be really careful,” said Opfer. “Hopefully we've got enough salt down that it will keep working, and we won't see a lot of refreeze."
The city started spending more money on chemical salt, beginning after the last big storm that hit Lincoln in late December.
They will be laying more sand and salt in residential areas to help with refreezing of snow and ice.
"Similar to the last storm, we had a lot of wet stuff underneath. Plus that first initial inch or so melted as soon as it hit the streets. We had a layer of water underneath the snow and then as cars travel over it, it packed down."
This packing of snow caused large sheets of ice that officials would like to avoid as they proceed with snow removal in the next few days.
"We're going to put salt behind our trucks. It's not going to clear everything, but hopefully reduce some of those sheets of ice."
He says the extra salt is all within the city’s budget.