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
This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s January issue.
Find the issue on newsstands or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.
Be the first to get every new issue. Subscribe.