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Clearing Snowbanks Out of Downtown Duluth

Updated: 12/13/2013 6:24 PM
Created: 12/13/2013 3:59 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

City crews moved mountains of snow just chopping down snowbanks at critical intersections on Friday. Snow clogging downtown will make those piles even higher early next week.

Ice-crusted snowbanks line the streets and avenues of downtown Duluth. City crews stuck warning signs in them on Friday because the snow will be cleared out between 2-7 a.m. on Monday morning.

For now residents like Kris Gerard are powering around them.

“I've got some kind of power shopping to do because it's getting close to Christmas” Gerard said.

But she said snowbanks can be impossible to climb in some areas, and that means parking meters could be a little light this week.

“Because there were huge piles and I decided I wasn't even going to attempt to get over them. And I didn't put any coins in, but I didn't get a ticket,” Gerard said.

Still, Gerard and other downtown travelers said they understand the city is making an effort to clean things up.

“Well, obviously it's a little slow, but there's a lot of streets in Duluth so I think they're doing the best they can,” Dean Luoma said.

City officials said everything from snow blowers to heavy machinery will dig out the snowbanks on Monday and Tuesday.

Officials said vehicles should be moved off downtown streets and alleys before 2 a.m. on Monday to avoid tickets or a tow.

But crews have to clear a spot for all that excess snow. Lot D just west of Bayfront on Railroad Street has become a snowy mountain range, and the piles will just get higher with the activity next week.

Still, it could take days to clear all of downtown so travelers will have to dodge the moguls a little longer.

To avoid traffic the downtown activity will be done by 7 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Officials said the crews will then move to residential streets to clear snow clinging there.

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