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Snow ‘Strike Teams’ Work To Clear Boston Streets

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BOSTON (CBS) – Public works crews were still clearing streets and sidewalks across the city Monday night, two days after the Blizzard of 2013.

They got some help from “strike teams.”

The teams went to work Monday afternoon, using orange spray paint to highlight giant snow mounds at intersections.  That will tip off front loaders and dump trucks to remove the piles.

They also used snow melters borrowed from Massport.

Boston was hit with 24.9 inches of snow in the storm and some streets are still to narrow for two-way traffic and intersections everywhere are obscured by snow mounds several feet high.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Carl Stevens reports

Boston Transportation Director Tom Tinlin says his crews hope to have streets widened by Tuesday’s commute.

Crews work to widen streets in Boston Monday. (Credit: WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens)

Crews work to widen streets in Boston Monday. (Credit: WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Carl Stevens)

“When you consider the magnitude of the storm and the fact it’s the fifth largest storm in the city’s history, I think we’re doing OK,” Tinlin told WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Carl Stevens.

Tinlin said crews have been on the streets since before the first snowflake fell.

“What you have currently is in some areas what was a three lane road is now a two lane,” Tinlin said. “A two lane, is a one lane and you throw parking into the mix there and that’s problematic.”

“The question is how do we maintain safe and sufficient traffic,” he said. “A big concern on major thoroughfares is that the parking lane is now filled with snow, that really shuts the road down.”

parking ban still in effect in Boston and many surrounding communities.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Kim Tunnicliffe reports from Beacon Hill

Tinlin said the ban can’t be lifted until parking lanes are cleared.

“If someone parks against those snow banks, no one can get by,” Tinlin said. “The impacts of a storm this big are great and far-reaching.”

The MBTA resumed its full schedule Monday but cautioned delays were likely.

Where To Put All The Snow?

All this snow has some public works crews scratching their heads. Where to put it? In Natick, the Highway Department has cleared out a huge lot for the sole purpose of filling it right back up again.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports

“You find a hole wherever you can. On the side streets it’s tough when there are a lot of driveways. You really just need to bring it down the street somewhere and dump it,” says Natick Highway Supervisor Tom Hladick.

The city of Boston is renting a melting machine to help thaw out snowbanks that have jammed up narrow downtown streets. The problem is, there may be too much volume for that to make a dent.

“With this amount of snow, it’s a long process,” says Hladick. He says Natick just got a new snow melter, but isn’t even using it yet. “We’re just going to have to haul it out for this storm because we got so much.”

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager contributed to this report.

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