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Officials say snow, ice removal not a problem

Liam Farrell | Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Despite dropping temperatures and growing piles of snow, Notre Dame maintenance officials said the clearing of campus sidewalks and roads has been running smoothly this year.

William Thistlethwaite, superintendent of landscape services, said that “[snow removal] is better this year than it has been in past years.”

“It doesn’t take any longer [to clear snow than before],” Thistlethwaite said. “It probably takes less time.”

The plows and employees of landscape services work to clear snow whenever it falls in South Bend, working in three shifts daily between 2:00 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.

“There are no hours,” Thistlethwaite said of employees’ schedules, adding that plows can be running 24 hours during significant snowstorms.

Notre Dame’s snow removal team includes 28 employees, nine plows, three loaders and five brooms, and their area of responsibility runs throughout campus. Although clearing Juniper Road is the responsibility of St. Joseph’s County, Notre Dame’s crews often do it themselves.

They “probably do a better job,” Thistlethwaite said.

While the custodians are responsible for clearing the areas immediately in front of the main entrances to the dorms, landscape services takes care of the rest of campus. Slight changes in the cleaning routines depend upon which areas will be trafficked heavily on a particular day. In such instances, the sidewalks in front of DeBartolo Hall may receive less attention on a weekend than the sidewalks connecting dorms and dining halls.

Some students, however, have expressed concern over icy sidewalks and slippery walkways throughout campus.

“The plows just clear half of the sidewalk and part of the grass,” junior Patrick Fishburne said, complaining that other areas are left covered in snow.

Sophomore Alicia Lachiondo agreed.

“I would put my tuition money into covering the sidewalks when it snows,” she said.

Thistlethwaite, however, said any problems students encounter occur because of the time of snow fall. He said it is the process of constantly “redoing everything” during significant storms that causes slippery walkways.