As Watertown public works officials work to plow main thoroughfares of the 27 inches of snow they received, narrow side streets and sidewalks might take until the end of the weekend or longer to finish clearing, according to a department employee.
The employee, who declined to be named, said the town's parking ban prohibiting anyone from parking on the street is still in effect, and said he did not know when it would be lifted.
"Because it snowed so much, it will take a lot more time to clear the roads," he said. "There's so much volume, and so much work to be done."
He also said that plows are encountering normal issues with clearing narrower side roads in town.
"Watertown is so old and it has these smaller, tighter streets, and there's no place to put the snow, which makes it even tighter," the employee said. "I hope there will be a lot of melting, because it costs the town a lot of money to haul the snow."
He said the streets should be clear enough for residents to go back to work on Monday.
In previous lighter snow storms, officials sometimes wait for the snow to melt, he said.
However, in the winter of 2010-2011, the Boston area experienced multiple weeks of heavy snow storms, which cost Watertown a heavy bill to plow streets and haul some of the snow out of town.
"Fire engines couldn’t make it around corners of the streets wihout getting caught up in the snow banks on the corner," he said. "We had to hire contractors to come in and haul every corner's snow out of town. It took weeks - it was crazy, but we had to hustle. Hopefully we don't have to go down that route again."
The employee said that while most main drags were cleared of snow enough for cars to pass by, the department would be spending the rest of the weekend concentrating on clearing bus stops and pedestrian walkways.
"We couldn’t get to the sidewalks because there's so much snow removed from the corners," he said.
The city is also clearing snow from the municipal parking lots that residents can park in during the ban to create more spaces, he said.
The following off-street municipal lots will be available for parking:
- Police station at 552 Main St.
- Any public school parking lot
- Marion Road at Victory Field
- The lot at Boylston and Mt. Auburn streets
Any vehicle parked at a school facility must be removed by 6 a.m. to allow for snow removal.
Residents can check the town's website for an update on when the parking ban will end.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org