Landscape Services details annual snow removal effort
Andrew Cameron | Monday, December 9, 2019
Despite South Bend’s reputation for frigid winters and heavy snowfalls, members of the Notre Dame community need rarely worry about snow or ice on walkways and parking lots during even the coldest months of the year. Each year, Landscape Services partners with the Athletic Grounds Team for the enormous undertaking of Notre Dame’s snow removal operation, which Tim Dyczko, assistant superintendent of landscape services, described in an email as “the best in the business.”
“We use a combination of 1/2 ton trucks all the way up to two 1/2 ton dump trucks to clear 21 lane miles of roads and 93 acres of parking lots,” Dyczko said in the email. “Our walks total over 41 miles across campus, which are cleared using large mechanical brooms as well as snow blades when the snow becomes too deep for broom operation. We also take care of [over] 40 sets of stairs/steps as well as cut throughs from the parking lots and all the bus stops across campus.”
A “lane mile” is a technical term meaning one mile long by 12 feet wide.
Landscape Services prepares for the first snowfall months in advance, Dyczko said. When a snowstorm or heavy snowfall is anticipated, they will lay down liquid anti-icer in advance to prevent snow from sticking to walkways. In addition to physical removal of snow, granular salt is applied to sidewalks to melt accumulated snow and ice.
“We have had other institutions inquire about how we are able to keep our walks in such good condition during the winter with little to no damage to the grass come springtime,” he said. “The machines we use for the walks are custom-built to remove snow and place granular product and anti-icing liquid all in one pass. It is a complex yet very well-organized operation of highly skilled operators who know their areas of responsibility extremely well every time it snows.”
Dyczko said the crews maintain 22 hours of coverage every day from Dec. 1 to April 1.
“When we are faced with a snow event, our crews come in at 2 a.m. with the goal of having campus clear and safe for our campus community by 7 a.m. unless conditions dictate otherwise,” he said. “Often times during big snow events, our crews will work 12-hour shifts for several days until the event is over.”
Dyczko said that removing snow and ice is crucial for University function during the winter months.
“It is a safety issue most of all,” he said. “If it is not safe to drive and walk on campus, then the entire operation of the University is at risk.”
Dyczko praised the Landscape Services employees for their hard work year-round ensuring that the campus remains clean and safe.
“The staff that is charged with snow removal is the same team that does such a great job in maintaining the campus in spring, summer and fall,” he said. “They are highly dedicated employees who work very hard to ensure that campus operations, including classes and research, are not interrupted by even the worst of winter weather.”