What it Takes to Clear Snow from Mayfair Mall’s 2.4 Million Square Foot Parking Lot

What it Takes to Clear Snow from Mayfair Mall’s 2.4 Million Square Foot Parking Lot

That’s a lot of plowing.

After a brutal winter storm, most Milwaukeeans grudgingly grab their shovels and get to work clearing their driveways. If those 600 or so square feet feel like a lot, imagine how the workers at Winter Services Inc. feel facing down 2.4 million – with a tight deadline. The West Allis-based company is contracted to ensure that Mayfair Mall’s parking lots are snow-free and ready for shoppers.

“We are out working at Mayfair well before the snowfall even begins,” treating the pavement with salt or a de-icing brine, says Jay Felton, president and CEO of Winter Services.

The workhorses of the clearing process are construction-grade front end loaders and skid steers, all outfitted with U-shaped containment plows that both push and collect snow. Those operators – as well as salt truck drivers, supervisors and a walk crew who clear the 100,000 square feet of walkways – push each shift to 25 to 50 workers.

But the snow has gotta go – especially during the holiday shopping season when parking is at a premium. So after Mayfair closes for the night, Winter Services crews load up dozens of dump trucks with snow and haul it to one of its facilities or to a partner with large, unused parking lots. During especially snowy winters, those piles can reach as high as 40 feet. After Christmas, the snow is brought to the lesser-used lot at Mayfair’s northeast corner. Last year’s pile lingered all the way to June before it melted.

“A job this large is no different than building a skyscraper,” Felton says. “You don’t build the building all at once, but rather one floor at a time.”

By the Numbers

70 Workers in Total Overnight Operation 

As Many as 40 Dump Trucks of Snow Loaded Up Each Night

Up to 8 Skid Steers and 9 Front Loaders

2.4 Million Square Feet of Parking at Mayfair Mall


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s January issue

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