LEWISTON — The city will spend roughly $160,000 for a new sidewalk plow, following public concern over unsafe sidewalks after the last major winter storm.

(Sun Journal file photo)

Much of the emphasis was put on sidewalk maintenance, after Public Works Director Dave Jones said that his department only has three working sidewalk plows – two that are dependable.

A replacement sidewalk plow was already included in next year’s Capital Improvement Plan, but during a council workshop two weeks ago, councilors were interested in hurrying the process.

During the same workshop, Superintendent of Schools Bill Webster said some 1,000 students walk to school every day, but that the numbers have been declining.

He said there are a number of factors that have played a role in the declining numbers, including a greater level of congestion and traffic and parent sensitivity to safety issues.

“An icy sidewalk may well lead to a parent deciding that they would take their child(ren) to school,” he said, adding that once that starts, a pattern easily develops.


Jones said there are 50 miles of sidewalks identified to be plowed in Lewiston, with 33 miles listed as “priority” routes in the downtown and around schools.

He said during the recent storm Public Works was averaging 3.4 miles cleared per 12-hour shift. With only two of the machines running and available, he said, it would take five days to complete the priority routes.

With the council’s support Tuesday, the city’s bidding requirements in its purchasing policy were also waived, meaning the new plow could arrive in a few weeks.

The purchase price includes the vehicle plus a tow-behind sander.

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