BOZEMAN — Winter isn't slowing down and city crews are working to keep up with the snow that just keeps coming down this season.
Neal Smith has been a snowplow driver for the city of Bozeman since 2019.
“You will want to get the road clear, but it's snowing so hard. It feels like you're not getting anything done,” says Smith.
This latest round of snow has been keeping him busy since 3 AM Wednesday morning.
“This snow is kind of manageable, but it does fly a little bit when it's windy you know,” says Smith.
The city owns eight plows and four motor graters that travel hundreds of miles of streets during and after a storm.
“Arterial and collector network so these are all the main network streets through Bozeman, Durston, Babcock, Garfield, Graf, 19th Kagy. These are the streets that get plowed first thing in the morning,” says Bozeman Assistant Streets Superintendent Matt Workman.
After the main streets that get people to and from work and school are plowed, their focus then shifts to residential streets.
“This is where we break the town up into five-day segments,” says Workman.
Staffing shortages and extra snow have made it hard for the city to keep up.
“This winter in particular that's really starting to pile up,” says Transportation & Engineering Director, Nick Ross. “Where we have frequent snow and continued sell off and have to leave the residential routes behind and continue plowing or main routes.
As of December 20, Bozeman has seen 26 inches of snow this year compared to 16 inches at this time last year.
From November 1 to December 20 last year, Bozeman had only seen 20 inches of snow. This year Bozeman is piling up 48.5 inches.
“It's all hands on deck in just continuing to just continue to plug away,” says Ross.
Even though it may seem like it's hard to keep up with the snow this season, Smith says he's glad the community sees he’s making a difference.
“We get a lot of people that call in and thank us for what we do,” says Smith.
For information about city plowing, you can visit their website.