Contractors plan to clear residential streets

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Plows planned to hit residential streets earlier than normal Tuesday night, and one contractor hopes that happens more often.

The city contracts 300 plow drivers to clear the 4,000 miles of residential streets, but there needs to be at least six inches of snow.

Tuesday, that is no longer the case.

Instead of waiting for half a foot, the contractors plan to hit the streets at 11 p.m.

Mayor Greg Ballard said the city learned a lesson during January’s major storm, when the contractors were called too late. The massive snowfall measured in at 11 inches. But the main problem was a snowfall that happened a few days prior. The contractors never plowed the initial snow fall because it didn’t total six inches.

“We don’t want to get too heavy,” said Mayor Ballard when referencing the accumulating snow. “We found out last time, sometimes the snow gets too heavy and too big for them for the contractors in the neighborhood and they may not be able to move the snow.”

ASAP Colgate Sweeping has 17 plow trucks. The city contracts it to clear snow in the Broad Ripple neighborhood.

Owner Ron Colgate was glad to hear the city wants contractors to be out sooner rather than later.

But with so many miles of residential roads that need to be plowed, Colgate says starting early needs to become the new rule.

“I think they ought to start five inches, forget the six because that’s a big issue,” Colgate said. “If it’s even close to six they ought let the contractors out. Got to get them on the job quicker, it’s easier to plow, get the roads more efficient.”

Colgate said the sooner they can clear residential streets, the better it will be for everyone. He said it allows first responders and garbage trucks to navigate the roads easier in the immediate days after the storm.

Private contractor Jay Yarling will be out and about Tuesday night clearing streets. He says he doesn’t know what the roads will look like in the morning because it all depends on when it stops snowing.

“I think it will be clear enough for them to get passable and get to the main thoroughfares and continue on to work.  I would hope so …. That’s right.  That’s the goal.”  Yarling expects to be out for most of the night working the section of the city he will be assigned to plow. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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