The big dig in the D is big business to clear residential streets

Snow emergencies declared across metro Detroit
Posted at 5:13 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 19:38:32-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The clock is ticking. It started at 6:00 AM for contractors to plow 1,880 miles of residential streets in Detroit.

Four contractors are responsible for the 5 Detroit City Council Districts. They haven’t had this work in a couple of years.

Terry Payne, Jr. runs 10 trucks in District 4 with Payne Landscaping.

He tells 7 Action News, “Yeah, it’s been a couple of years. I know we had a couple of good ones a few years back. We’ve been waiting on this.”

Payne knows they’re under the gun with the clock ticking and says, “We have our guys they got rested last night and we’re all around the clock today.”

Detroit only calls up the contractors when 6 inches of snow or more are in the forecast. Between 8 and 9 inches fell in the city overnight. These major snow events cost the city $550,000.

Martin Gomez is one of the inspectors with eyes on the streets to make sure city taxpayers aren’t getting a snow job.

He says, “If I find any deficiencies as far as they missed it, didn’t do it, did it halfway right, it’s noted.”

Mayor Mike Duggan did not declare a snow emergency so parked cars on residential streets were not towed or ticketed. People were asked to park them out of the way.

Some people in Detroit remember several years past when residential streets didn’t get plowed for several days - if at all.

We found Terrell Starks shoveling Milner Street where a friend of his lives. The friend was working on Tuesday.

Terrell told us, “When I pulled up, I couldn’t even, I didn’t want to risk getting stuck.”

Some sedans were parked down the street and will have a challenge getting out as the snow had not yet been plowed by mid-afternoon.

Terrell said laughing he can relate, “My wife has a BMW she can’t go nowhere.”

Tick tock, if your Detroit residential street is not plowed by 6:00 AM Wednesday, use the Improve Detroit smartphone app to report it.