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Ride on a Town Snow Plow

As a newly elected member of Hamden's Legislative Council, I was offered a chance to ride a plow during the last snow storm.  Truck # 23, a newer vehicle expertly driven by Dean Colaiacovo came to pick me up in the thick of the storm last sunday.  He immediately got to work "opening"up the main thoroughfares on his route.  Opening the road requires two passes down either side of the middle of the road.  He covers 25 miles of roads and then starts again to do the "push back" which clears the snow from the side of the road.  On and on, over and over for 12 hours straight.  The obstacles are many.  Cars parked on the sides of the road do not allow for a clean plow job as they must maneuver around parked cars.  There are manhole covers and drainage basins that must be avoided to maintain the integrity of the blade.  There are steep hills throughout Hamden that are difficult to navigate even with a big plow truck.  A call comes in to head back to Benham Hill.  On the way we see cars spinning around turns and giving up on getting up Benham.  The plow slowly inched up the hill on full throttle to clear the way.  The cab was warm and cozy but the wipers were freezing up and smearing ice over the windshield.  Dean had to climb on the truck to clear the ice and snow.  After 2 and a half hours, I was getting hungry and thoughts of a hot dinner were sounding good. It was time for me to get off but Dean had the rest of his 12 hour shift to finish. I got a new perspective and respect for how hard these guys at Public Works work.  This is not an easy job by any means.  
Mailboxes do get demolished from time to time from the force of the snow flying off the plow blade so residents should try and protect their mailboxes during the winter months if possible.  
I plan on visiting and meeting more of the crew in the coming months.  I'd like to know more about what they do and share it with the public.  Suffice to say, nothing runs without our Public Works crew!  
Marjorie Bonadies, 9th district council
J D C December 29, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Yeah they drive em around empty to stay under the 18k GVW so they can drive 12 and not 11! THATS probably why they couldnt get around in that blizzard after a few hours and most other towns did. After 5-6 inches empty those trucks wont do anything but slide around or get stuck.
Clelian Center January 10, 2014 at 03:31 PM
Yes, call us 203-288-4151.

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