Photo By Scott Seiler Photography
With an investment in innovation in the Public Work division, the City of Fargo is ready for the winter months.
October in Fargo seems to bring a handful of things with it each year: the finality of the year embodied by the transition of once lively tree leaves from a verdant green to rich hues of red and orange before finally resting devoid of color altogether on the ground, the traditions of Halloween, trick-or-treating and everything else the spooky holiday entails, and, perhaps most frightening of all – our first snowfall. Fargo’s first recorded frozen precipitation of the 2019 fall/winter was in October. The first 2018 snowfall in Fargo also took place in October. In 2017… you guessed it, October. Like clockwork, the season’s first flakes fly perennially during the tenth month. In a year full of broken traditions, Mother Nature may intend on keeping this one.
The Fargo Public Works team has become pretty adept at handling heavy snowfall. With more than 2,100 miles worth of lanes to cover each time it snows, there’s plenty of practice to be had. The Fargo fleet utilizes several different types of vehicles depending on the scope of the plowing task at hand. Some vehicles are even mounted with laser guides which pierce through the snow and inform equipment operators of what is underneath heavy drifts and allowing for an even safer way to clear roads.
Even with the experience, the Streets Team has in addressing heavy snow, the City
of Far More realizes there is always room for improvement. The Fargo Public Works Department has actively sought new tools to continually enhance its methods.
For example, the department is approved to purchase an additional motor grader for maintenance operations, including snow removal services for residential areas. This heavy-duty piece of machinery is especially useful for the wet, heavy snow we receive when the temperature hovers around 32 degrees. The grader will help neighborhoods on the south end of Fargo, such as Deer Creek and Osgood, which do not have as much tree coverage to slow snowfall from covering streets. The new grader should be able to effectively scrape streets clean and allow residents in those neighborhoods to utilize the streets even sooner following snowfall.
Utility and multi-purpose equipment is highly prioritized in the Public Works Department. The incoming grader isn’t a single season tool. It can also be used for moving earth and construction efforts during the warmer parts of the year. This is not the only Swiss Army Knife-esque investment the department is making. An anti-ice roll-off body skid is also planned for purchase. This specialized piece of equipment allows the fleet’s existing vehicles to be used for anti-ice treatment, and eliminates the need to pay for a vehicle specifically for de-icing.
The commitment to efficiency and efficacy isn’t limited to the wintertime. The aftermath of a harsh winter’s thaw/freeze cycle can leave some roads riddled with potholes. Early in the spring, it can be difficult to produce the material needed to patch those holes, as many asphalt plants do not open until the weather warms up. To help repair the streets and preserve drivers’ rides much earlier in the season, a new hot patch truck insert will be utilized.
The attachment works in conjunction with an existing truck to heat up small batches of asphalt as crews repair the road. For the average resident, commuter or visitor in Fargo, this means nasty gouges along their route can be repaired by City crews more easily in the thawing months. Troublesome potholes, as always, should be reported at FargoOne.com or on the FargoOne app: a specialized service which allows citizens to report a variety of issues from potholes to graffiti.
In 2019, the City of Fargo was ranked as the number six city in the entire nation for quality of city services by WalletHub, a national ranking website. This ranking was based on the value and efficacy of the services offered to residents. The City of Fargo’s commitment to street-level excellence is rooted in efficiency and prudent investment in innovation.
With continued diligence, the City hopes to continue improving its service to each of its residents and visitors.