Street condition update -- Wednesday December 11, 2013
Street crews continue to work 24 hours to improve travel conditions in the community. Work by ODOT and the City yesterday and during the night resulted in better riding surfaces for a number of main roadways. The warmer weather today has helped accelerate the thawing of the icy layer, but temperatures are expected to drop below freezing tonight, and it is expected that ice will reform in many areas. Be cautious driving this evening and into the night, as surfaces that may appear to be pavement are likely to have a layer of ice.
ODOT and City crews will continue working to remove or minimize the ice layer on more streets today and through tonight.
Please note that there is a chance of freezing rain tomorrow, Thursday, December 11. If that occurs, travel will be extremely dangerous and traction devices are encouraged. Please use caution if you must drive through the community—move slowly and leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you.
Street condition update – Tuesday December 10, 2013 Corvallis and Oregon Department of Transportation crews will begin Tuesday afternoon working in partnership to improve travel routes in the city. ODOT will use their equipment to break up the ice layer on the street, and City crews will follow to move the material out of the travel lane and the intersections. Work will continue throughout the night, concentrating on the major travel routes in the community. This effort could continue into the day Wednesday, and the situation will be assessed at that time, in light of changing weather conditions.
Street condition update –Monday December 9, 2013
There are at least 2 inches of ice on most city streets. Plowing in these conditions has no effect because the plow blade can not break through the ice layer. It actually makes the situation worse, because the plow leaves behind it a smooth surface that is much more slick and dangerous. Sanding the street is the best option in these conditions, providing a layer of traction for vehicle tires to reduce the possibility of sliding or of wheels spinning out.
Public Works Department crews have been working around-the-clock since Friday morning sanding the streets in the city. The priority for sanding activities are (1) the route to the hospital, (2) the bus , (3) the main streets in the community, and (4) hilly areas. During the coldest hours of the night we have experienced some difficulty with equipment freezing up, but have maintained steady progress throughout.
Based on current weather forecasts, the temperatures will stay high enough starting sometime around Tuesday or Wednesday to begin to melt the ice layer. Once the rains come, predicted for the end of the week, that melting process will move more quickly. There has already been some breaking up of the ice on streets with a north-south alignment that have benefited from the sunny weather the last few days.
Vehicles with traction devices (like chains) should be able to navigate hilly areas with few problems. Those with 4-wheel drive should be able to navigate most areas, but we are getting reports of those vehicles also struggling. Vehicles without either of these should not attempt the hills at all, unless it is an emergency.
Transit service will be running during the week, though some routes may be behind schedule because of the street conditions.
We want to extend our appreciation to the public for your patience and cooperation during this extreme weather event.
Public Works Department Mission Statement
Public Works Department Director
Consistent with the Corvallis 2020 Vision Statement and City Council goals, our mission is to support and enhance the quality of life for residents by delivering responsive and efficient services to all neighborhoods and maintaining reliable and cost-effective public works facilities and systems in a manner that emphasizes customer satisfaction, public service, and good stewardship of natural, fiscal, and staff resources.
Mary Steckel, Public Works Director, can be reached at 541-766-6916.
Services are offered out of four divisions in the Public Works Department:
Transportation – The Transportation Division covers a wide variety of service areas and a multitude of transportation modes. Any service provided on the streets or in the rights-of-way in our city are most likely provided from this Division. Street repair, street sweeping, street and directional sign maintenance, pavement marking, traffic signal maintenance, and street lighting are the most common examples. Parking services are managed by Transportation staff, including public parking lots, on-street parking, residential parking districts, permit parking lots, parking meters, and design and management of the parking system. Various modes of transportation are supported by Division staff–transit, airport, bicycle and pedestrian. Services cover the management and planning for the particular system, as well as the development of projects to enhance services. Four citizen advisory commissions are used to assist staff in developing service levels to meet the community needs.
Utilities – The Utilities Division is all about water–drinking water, wastewater, and storm water. The City has two water treatment plants and one wastewater treatment plant. Along with ensuring high quality water that meets all state and federal requirementson both ends , services are provided to maintain the treatment plant equipment, to automate control of plant processes, and to operate the remote reservoir and pump station facilities. The water quality lab conducts over 10,000 tests a year on the water at every stage in the process. Miles of piping to distribute the drinking water to homes, businesses, and schools and to collect the wastewater are maintained by Division staff. Public education programs encourage water conservation activities in the home and around the yard, and pollution prevention to the urban streams that snake through the City. Long-term planning for sufficient infrastructure to meet a growing community's needs and financial planning to ensure sufficient revenues to construct needed projects are an important component of each of the utility systems.
Engineering – The Engineering Division is responsible for designing and managing the construction projects that build the street and utility infrastructure systems. Division staff develop master plans for these systems that determine what types and how much infrastructure will be required to meet projected community needs twenty years in the future. New infrastructure is also added to the systems through the work of private contractors when building new subdivisions or commercial development. Staff reviews and approves these private development project plans, and inspects the construction once completed to ensure it was built to city standards and specifications. Inspection of work done in the public rights-of-way by private utility companies providing telephone, electrical, gas, and cable services is also a responsibility of this Division. A citizen advisory group assists staff in prioritizing needed capital projects and developing a five-year capital improvement program plan.
Administration – The Administration Division is responsible for the general management oversight of department operations. Development of business plans and seven-year financial plans ensures the focus is on the future and on what changes in course might be required to meet evolving state and federal regulations, to maintain efficient delivery of Department services and to ensure long-term financial stability for the various systems operated by the Department. Division staff provide administrative support services to the other Public Works activity areas, which include customer service/reception, accounts receivable and payable, payroll, budgeting, recruitments, citizen information material, bid and RFP process coordination, records and property management, automation system support, and web page maintenance. Staff administers the franchise agreements with the private utility companies operating in the public rights-of-way and resolves any related citizen concerns.