Public Works crews busy as wintry mix falls in Milwaukee area

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A wintry mix on Sunday, January 27th had public works crews coating roadways with salt throughout the day. Crews raced against the weather, which was blamed for a number of minor accidents.

Milwaukee Public Works deployed 96 salt trucks on Sunday, which is standard when there are major concerns over ice.

While crews worked to stave off ice accumulation, others went out of their way to find it.

Mark Wellmuth and his nephews embraced the weather on Sunday as they played hockey. 

While Sunday's sleet helped provide a good skating surface, that same precipitation made driving challenging. As snow turned to freezing rain, crews like the South Milwaukee Street Department created a plan of attack.

"Called in three salters, divide the city into thirds and then each person on their routes will do two passes down all the main streets and two passes down all the side streets so the entire city should get two passes," Dan Ratajski said.

Sunday was just the ninth time this winter the Department went out its salt trucks. In an average winter, Ratajski estimates it would have been 15-20 times by the end of January.

The goal for Milwaukee Public Works was to make sure main streets like Brown Deer Road on the northwest side were freshly salted. That's why crews started in residential neighborhoods Sunday morning and worked their way onto busier streets -- the opposite of what you'd see during a major snowfall.