February 12, 2013

Public works admits to setbacks, looks to improve

Here's a memo that city Public Works Director Walter Veselka sent to city councilors and other officials on Monday afternoon:

I apologize but started trying to get this out to you at 6:30 this morning.  Today is a transition day as we move from the initial opening of all roadways to widening the streets out.  The depth of snow and now rain saturating what is on the ground we will be moving snow either with blowers or loaders.  Although some will be dumped on lawns we will be trucking a large volume of snow to snow dump areas we are setting up around the City.
 
Residents clearing own road on Chippens Hill.
Our goal was to have all streets opened to at least one pass by 6 p.m. last night but we suffered some setbacks during the day that did not allow us to meet that goal.  We believed that by 7 a.m. this morning we had addressed all the streets with a few known problem areas requiring more effort.  We put the word out to get resident responses on areas we may have missed.  That has resulted in a number of calls; most of the areas we had opened but are checking each and addressing as required.  This checking and preparing for our next phase of work is taking the majority of today's efforts; the potions of the streets that we did not finish last night all require extensive work using heavy equipment.
 
We are in the process of lining up contact equipment, articulated loaders and large capacity trucks, to begin hauling snow.  We will be using City and contract resources for this and will be addressing the arterial and high volume streets listed if the first part of the policy.  Most of these resources will be available beginning tomorrow once the contractors complete hauling snow for their contract areas.
 
At the same time we are doing this widening we will be using City and contract back-hoe/loaders to improve the sightline at intersections, again beginning with the arterial roadways.  Other resources not used will be addressing the sidewalks the City is responsible to clear.
 
In addition to addressing missed streets and other emergent issues we are preparing snow dump areas to receive snow.  We need to clear access into these areas and create place for the snow.  Today and tomorrow you will see equipment in Depot Square, the Peacedale excavation site, one or more of the closed schools and Northeast Middle School making these preparations.
 
For this phase of our operations I will be coordinating and managing the operations.
Bill Wolfe will be assigning the work to our contractors and City crews working through the streets on the list.  He will be checking the streets to confirm they are cleared.
Joe Mone will be on the ground directing the efforts of the City crews.
Ray Rogozinski and Roger Rousseau are lining up Contract resources for our use.
Sheree Gorneault is providing updates on operations via our web site, information line (6224), and e-mail.  She is also doing updates on WebEOC.
Ed Swicklas will be coordinating the efforts to clean non BOE City sidewalks.
George Wallace is coordinating truck and equipment repair efforts.
Dave Oakes (and Dave Clark when he returns) will be reviewing our ability to conduct solid waste collections.
 
We are getting assistance from my Water Pollution Control Division in addition to Park, Water, Police and Board of Education on these efforts.
 
We will be putting out updates on what solid waste routes we will be collecting and the streets the crews will be working on each day.
 
Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

1 comment:

Michael Kosciuszek said...

Michael Kosciuszek, Goodwin St. Please post this comment so all can see. The complete lack of Mayoral leadership to the Director of Public Works down to the Superintendent of streets is a realization of the way the city of Bristol conducts it's business. Whatever title will be blamed is no concern. The person making the call to take the snow plow and removal crews off the streets needs to be fired. The handling of this EXPECTED storm is a humiliation and inexcusable delays should be chargeable to the city. Tax payers had to clear the streets they pay to have cleared. REFUND sounds like a good start. NO BLAME for the public works workers should even be considered. The idiot sending them home needs again to be let go with no ability to apply for any other city of Bristol position for the city including any consultation type of position. Why are the students not loosing the Feb. break instead of potentially going to school until the end of June? Absolute joke of representation of leadership. If the blame is pushed to the Mayor then he is excepting it and should pay as well. Feel free to contact me, you now have my email.