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City of Des Moines spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to haul off snow

Moving snow out of downtown Des Moines is a rare occurrence. This will be the third time in 10 years it's needed to be done.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The snow is piling up on the sides of Des Moines roads, but the city's plans to move the snow are already in the works.

Below-zero temperatures, however, have kept some crews from moving the mounds away.

“It’s just sitting there accumulating and every time it snows, we push more to the side," Public Works Director Jonathan Gano said. "And we just run out of room and places to put the snow."

Hauling snow out of downtown Des Moines is a rare occurrence. This will be the third time in 10 years it's needed to be done.

Gano explained it costs a couple-hundred thousand dollars to haul it off.

The snow itself can become an obstacle, from blocking parking meters to causing driving hazards.

The city will do the west side of the river first and the east side of the river last.

“Those who are in the dump trucks are in heated cabs, but there’s an extensive number of laborers on the ground, on the sidewalk," Gano said. "We don’t want to have them breathing that cold air for that long.”

Gano believes it will take at least 24 hours to complete.

The snow will be hauled off to what used to be the Metro Compost Center off of SE 14th Street. This is open to the public to dump their own snow.

Local 5 asked public works: What is worse for vehicles, salt or brine?

"We use salt to make brine. So, they are the same thing," Gano said. "We add other things into our brine mixture for pretreating roads. We have added beat juice, but the principle ingredient is just table salt."

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