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Crews continue snow removal in Bloomington-Normal; some trouble spots remain

Snow plow drives
Emily Bollinger
A plow moves down College Avenue near the Illinois State University campus on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022.

Streets in Normal are passable Thursday after a major winter storm dropped nearly 10 inches of snow on Bloomington-Normal.

Ryan Otto, director of Public Works and Engineering for the Town of Normal, said all streets have received at least a first pass by snowplows.

“Crews have worked very hard over the last 36 hours,” Otto said. That work will continue over the next 24 hours as crews work to clear intersections and push snow back closer to curbs. Trucks will be operating round the clock.

Otto said an afternoon lull in Wednesday's snowfall allowed crews to shift focus from arterials to clearing snow in residential areas.

Trash and recycle collection will resume in Normal on Thursday. Otto said both Wednesday and Thursday routes will be collected.

And though the snow seems to have largely tapered off, Otto cautioned that surfaces are still very slick. People who can stay home today should do so, Otto said.

“We’re very appreciative of all the crews and plow drivers that have worked real hard to get everything open,” Otto said. He asked that residents give crews space as they continue to work throughout the day.

The town has announced that the parking ban will remain in effect until 5 p.m. February 4. It was previously set to expire at 12 p.m. today.

Dangerous conditions in Bloomington

Main roads in Bloomington are "generally passable" according to a release issued by the city, but plows have yet to make it to most side streets.

"The winds are still pretty strong and so we're still seeing a lot of blowing and drifting snow," said Kevin Kothe, director of Bloomington Public Works. He said that means crews have to clear main roadways multiple times throughout the day. "You go through them and then an hour later you come back and it doesn't even look like anything was done," he said.

Kothe said those areas include: Six Points Road, Fox Creek Road, Hamilton Road, Ireland Grove Road, and Fort Jesse Road.

Drifting snow is also creating dangerous conditions for drivers.

"We've had a number of people that have gotten stuck even on the main roads, or on the side streets, and that really hinders our progress when we're trying to get everything plowed out," Kothe said. City crews have stopped work several times to assist stranded motorists.

Kothe understands that people are anxious to get out and about, but urges only essential travel until roads are clear. He said Bloomington crews will continue working through the night.

Bloomington's parking ban is set to expire at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Sarah Nardi is a WGLT reporter. She previously worked for the Chicago Reader covering Arts & Culture.
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