A Tricky Parking Challenge: Snow

In part 1 of this series, we described how B&F units work together to clear snow from parking lots, roads, and walkways. Parking decks present special challenges, which Logistics, Transportation & Parking (LTP) staff manage carefully to maintain safe access for patients, faculty, students, staff, and visitors.

Just as highway signs warn “bridge ices before road” because the bridge temperature is typically colder than ground temperatures, parking structure rooftops are more prone to freezing. Keeping the rooftops clear is a tremendous challenge because deicers are less effective on such a cold surface.

Compounding the challenge, non-salt deicers must be used in some locations to protect structures from corrosion. Non-salt deicers are typically less effective than traditional salt, but they are valuable for protecting infrastructure. In many cases, LTP has installed a protective coating on parking structure roofs, which provides flexibility in salt application.

Another unique aspect of snow removal in parking structures is that the snow must be piled in predetermined areas that can support the weight of the snow. Later, the snow is hauled away, pushed over the side then hauled away, or melted. For public safety, this process takes place only after parking areas are vacated.

LTP’s 23 employees work day, night, and weekend shifts to quickly remove snow and maintain safe conditions for parking lot and structure users. Next time you see them at work, you’ll have insight into the unique challenges they overcome to Make Blue Go.

Stay tuned for part 3: little-known factors of preparing for snow.