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Clearing Roads is “Snow” Problem for Riverton Public Works

Mar 10, 2016 09:52AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Briana Kelley |

South Valley - It is 4 a.m. on Feb. 2, and Riverton City streets are covered in snow. Roads are currently hazardous due to snowdrifts built up from high winds. A crew of eight works in cooperation with the Riverton Precinct UPD for extra early alerts on snowy and slippery roads and carefully monitors upcoming storms. 

By the end of the day, the crew will plow 1,109 snow plow miles, a new daily record. They will work into the night clearing main roads. To date, the crew has driven over 6,650 miles, the equivalent of driving to Seattle, Washington and back three times, and spread 1,620 tons of salt in snow plowing activities. 

Snow removal is one of many public works department responsibilities. The department is responsible for the design, construction, inspection and maintenance of the city’s infrastructure –the sidewalks, curb, gutter and streets. Thus, the department maintains the infrastructure through snow removal, traffic control, cleaning and repair of storm drains, weed control, street sweeping and street light maintenance. The department is also accountable for managing and maintaining the city’s fleet vehicles, managing the GIS system, designing and constructing water systems and conducting plan reviews, surveys and studies.

“In addition to the infrastructure management described above, the Public Works Department provides support services for all of the other departments of the city. Public Works coordinates with outside governmental agencies, contractors and developers. Public Works is included with fire and police as first responders in emergencies and coordinates and works closely with them upon request,” Trace Robinson said.

Robinson is the public works director and city engineer. He leads the department of 28 full time employees and five seasonal employees. The department consists of six divisions: engineering, fleet, GIS, stormwater, streets, and street lights.

Over the past few years the department has secured $17 million in outside funding and completed approximately $40 million in construction projects.  The majority of these projects were designed, bid, and managed by the engineering division. The department also played a major role in the changeover of the culinary water system from the city wells to Jordan Water Conservancy District. 

“I am always amazed at the quality, efficient work performed by the employees of the Public Works Department as they serve the citizens of Riverton. They truly exemplify the goal of providing the very best service at the most reasonable cost. I really appreciate how talented, innovative, and dedicated they are,” Lance Blackwood, city manager, said. 

Robinson and his team will be responsible for many elements in the upcoming Mountain View Place at Riverton, the 85-acre retail development coming this year. The department will complete the design and bid and begin construction on approximately $9 million of new infrastructure. The department will also begin spring maintenance projects in the upcoming months, including crack seal and road repair.

“Public works is responsible to provide, maintain, and regulate the infrastructure needs of the city.  Every decision is based on the protection and best use of City funds.  Our sole purpose is to insure the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens,” Robinson said.

If residents want to report snow or other problems in their area, Riverton City encourages them to report online through “Report A Problem.” Residents can also call the public works department at 801-208-3162. 

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