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Wichita: more trucks/drivers needed for better snow response

Published On: Feb 11 2014 11:31:23 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 11 2014 06:05:45 PM CST
WICHITA, Kan. -

It's been a week since a winter storm caused difficult driving conditions throughout Wichita. It took crews driving 50 plows more than a week to clean it all up from major roads. On Tuesday city leaders admitted mistakes were made in the process, but they say crews did the best they could with the equipment they have

Main roads around Wichita are showing signs of improvement.

"Yeah, it's good," said Driver Matt Sipe. "There is a lot of sand and everything, but I would have liked to see these roads last week."

Many drivers voiced the same criticism. The City of Wichita is listening, and explaining what happened

"The extreme low temperatures, that was the unusual part," said Public Works Director Alan King. "That created an ice pack that our plows could not plow off. For us to avoid these sorts of conditions, we're going to need resources that we don't currently have. That always cost money."

King told council members Tuesday the city would need 70 more plow trucks plus staff to meet the demands of a major snow event. Or the city could look to contract out that extra work when needed. Both options are now being explored.

In addition to more trucks, the City also wants to do a better job of talking to the public to let them know what they are doing and why. King hopes better communication will cut down on the criticism the faced during this past week.

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