Bring on win­ter: Bris­tol pre­pared for bad weather

The Advance of Bucks County - - BRISTOL AREA - By Elizabeth Fisher

Ad­vance cor­re­spon­dent

BRfSTOL BOR­OUGH - fn the midst of this win­ter’s first deep freeze, bor­ough work­ers shook off the cold on a re­cent af­ter­noon to pre­pare equip­ment to tackle ex­pected bad weather. Show­ers of road salt cas­caded into a dump truck and a Tor­nado salt spreader rested in the bed of a pickup truck, ready for ac­tion on the bor­ough’s 37 miles of road.

“ko mat­ter what hap­pens, we’ll be ready,” said bor­ough coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ralph DiGuiseppe as he stood bun­dled up un­der a leaden sky to watch the ac­tion. “te have the equip­ment, we have the man­power, and our work­ers have the skills to get us through.”

For the sec­ond time in three months, the eight-mem­ber main­te­nance crew pre­pared for an emer­gency. fn late Oc­to­ber, Hur­ri­cane Sandy tore through the ko­rth­east, de­stroy­ing prop­erty, down­ing trees and leav­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands with­out power for days or, in some cases, weeks. Bris­tol was ahead of the game.

Although most homes were with­out power for up to four days, the bor­ough’s quick ac­tion in re­mov­ing downed trees was a fac­tor in spurring elec­tri­cal work­ers to move the town to the top of its to-do list.

The bor­ough had ev­ery­thing it needed to do the job, DiGuiseppe said.

“ko mat­ter what busi­ness you’re in, if you don’t have equip­ment and man­power, you don’t get any­where.

te took crit­i­cism for build­ing the main­te­nance fa­cil­ity and se­condly for the ve­hi­cles we needed. ff we hadn’t bought that equip­ment and those gen­er­a­tors, the po­lice, the road crews and the government would not have been able to func­tion dur­ing the storm,” he said.

Even pur­chas­ing gas for po­lice cars would have been im­pos­si­ble. Bor­ough work­ers were able to fill up at the town’s own gas pump, in­stalled at the main­te­nance site that be­gan op­er­a­tions in July. The pre­vi­ous build­ing had be­come so di­lap­i­dated that the bor­ough’s in­surance car­rier threat­ened to can­cel its pol­icy, which was al­ready on high risk sta­tus.

Bor­ough Man­ager James Dil­lon said the new fa­cil­ity re­moved that threat and the high-risk des­ig­na­tion.

Over the past seven years, the bor­ough has re­placed all eight trucks in the fleet, in­clud­ing pickup trucks, a bucket truck that en­ables work­ers to re­place bulbs in street lights, and a street sweeper. The bor­ough

has five salt spread­ers and is look­ing into buy­ing two more, at a cost of A4,500 each.

The most re­cent pur­chase was an A87,000 Bob­cat front loader and one of its first jobs to lift the salt from the stor­age shed into the trucks. ft re­placed an aged and rusted front loader that sits for­lornly in a cor­ner of the main­te­nance yard await­ing a part. Once that’s fixed, it will be turned over to the sewer de­part­ment.

The next item the bor­ough is con­sid­er­ing buy­ing is a brine sys­tem, which, when at­tached to a truck, sprays a mix­ture of water and salt on road­ways be­fore a snowflake falls. ft keeps roads clear un­der a two- to three-inch snowfall and, in the case of sub­stan­tial ac­cu­mu­la­tion, will keep the bot­tom layer of snow soft to pre­serve trac­tion for ve­hi­cles, DiGuiseppe said.

The new Bob­cat showed off its met­tle an emer­gency Satur­day night that had noth­ing to do with weather.

Some teen-agers were seen pulling a heavy metal grate from a sewer open­ing on a bor­ough cor­ner and drop­ping the grate down into the open­ing, cre­at­ing a haz­ard for walk­ers, jog­gers or small an­i­mals.

Un­able to dis­lodge the grate man­u­ally, the road crew sent the Bob­cat, which, with the help of a heavy chain, was able to lift the grate from the sewer so bor­ough work­ers could re­place it.

“f think that when it comes to main­te­nance, we can com­pete with any mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the county,” DiGuiseppe said. “te’ve pro­vided for our ci­ti­zens through grants. te haven’t had to raise taxes to do this.”

Bris­tol Bor­ough Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ralph DiGuiseppe and Bris­tol Bor­ough Man­ager James Dil­lon next to one of the main­te­nance de­part­ment’s trucks equipped with a Tor­nado salt spreader.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.