Snow on medians may pose problem

By Rick Moreci

Recently reopened Lucinda Avenue could undergo hardships during the upcoming winter season.

Tom Anderson, grounds superintendent for NIU, said Lucinda Avenue might have to be closed at times to remove snow from the new median strip. The median does not allow for the use of snowplows because of its size, said Bob Albanese, director of NIU’s Physical Plant.

He said the plows can remove snow to clear the lanes and then stack the snow on the median. However, since the median is so narrow, it will not take long before the snow piles up on the median and must be removed.

When this happens, a truck will come to remove the snow from the median. However, for this process to occur, Lucinda will have to be closed. Albanese therefore hopes for little or no snow.

The closing of Lucinda will only be necessary for snowfalls of several inches. Anderson said no matter how much it snows, plows will first clear the traffic lanes and pile the snow on the median. Workers will also clear pathways on the median for pedestrians.

Lucinda Avenue is the responsibility of the city of DeKalb. However, if the street does close because of snowfall, NIU will work with the city to reopen the street as soon as possible.

If the street does have to be closed, the Physical Plant will alert the NIU Police Department and the Huskie Bus Line hours in advance. This will allow for time to make alternate routes for transportation.

There is one more consideration for the removal of snow this winter. Many of the sidewalks around campus are new, and salt will accelerate the erosion of the new surfaces. Therefore, salt cannot be placed on the new sidewalks.

Albanese said sand could be spread on the sidewalks to melt the snow, but it does not work as well, and sand will get tracked into buildings.

“We need new ways to treat these sidewalks which may not be as dependable as throwing salt,” Albanese said. New alternatives, which could be more expensive, are being looked into.