Youngstown Street Department examining plow routes for efficiency

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The last winter storm that hit Youngstown left almost a foot of lingering snow and some lingering hard feelings.

“Oh, it was bad,” said Sterling Hicks, who lives on the south side. “They hadn’t done the streets in about a week. It was bad.”

That storm had people complaining — even city workers blasted the street department.

“We got trucks up there that are from 1999, 1987,” Jim Mamonis said at a Youngstown City Council meeting last week.Video: Youngstown street department worker begs for more trucks, men

“Thank god we didn’t get another snow,” Mamonis said at the meeting. “We went from 13 trucks to eight trucks. If it had snowed again, guess how many trucks you would have had? Three.”

City Public Works Director Charles Shasho said he knows people have been upset over the streets.

“I understand their frustrations. Our resources are limited. We have an aged fleet of snow plows. Also, we are down about six employees from a few years ago.”

City records show the newest snow plow is ten years old. Ten of the 16 plows have been beating the city streets for nearly 20 years.

Shasho said city workers do the best they can, usually working 12-hour shifts after a big storm.

“They have specific route sheets. Each driver is assigned a route during a shift. They go out and do each route. They start with the main roads and once they’re done with the main roads, they will get into the side streets.”

First grouping of top-priority roads (not necessarily in the order that they’ll be plowed):

  • Bellevista Avenue
  • Mahoning Avenue
  • Oak Street
  • Glenwood Avenue
  • McGuffey Road
  • South Avenue
  • Fifth Avenue
  • Martin Luther King Boulevard
  • Market Street
  • Worthington Street
  • Madison Avenue Expressway
  • Himrod Avenue Expressway

Secondary grouping of top-priority roads (not necessarily in the order that they’ll be plowed):

  • Hazelwood Avenue
  • Oakwood Avenue
  • McCartney Road
  • Midlothian Boulevard
  • Ramps to Andrews Avenue
  • Gypsy Lane
  • Burlington Street
  • Pasadena Avenue
  • Teamsters Drive
  • Ramps to expressways, interstates and US and state routes

Shasho said the routes haven’t been updated in several years. He said he’s examining all of them to see if they need changed or redone to clear the city faster.

On Tuesday, streets were mostly clear.

“I just seen them do mine a while ago. I think they are doing a pretty good job so far,” Hicks said. “They doing the best they can do.”

He said he knows the streets will be clear eventually.

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