Public Works

Public Works Blog

Road crews hit the road with COVID precautions in place

Posted On: June 04, 2020

Weekend county snowplow operations differ from weekday operations

Chelan County road crews are back on the road in full force after more than two months of working with reduced crew sizes during the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.

And they returned June 1 with several COVID-related precautions in place.

“These precautions are not just for the safety of our crew members,” said Brad Harn, road maintenance supervisor for Chelan County Public Works. “They are also for those people whom our employees go home to every night.”

In mid-March, crews were divided into smaller teams that worked a rotating schedule. Those not on the road were placed on call. Public Works’ goal during the governor’s order was to maintain county roads for the public while also keeping crews safe. At the time, 2020 Preservation was put on hold.

Since May, all crew members also participated in COVID training. In training, expectations were laid out to get everyone on board with a variety of procedural changes. And given the fluid nature of guidance and requirements from the state, modifications will be made as necessary. 

Among the changes is the use of masks. While the public may see construction crews in the valley wearing masks on construction sites, Phase 1 Construction Restart Requirements do not apply to our road maintenance activities. This does not mean that we drop all COVID precautions. What it means is we will follow other L&I requirements.

Our road crews are not “construction crews;” the work our operators do falls under maintenance. They perform such seasonal tasks as repairing potholes, cleaning stormwater culverts, striping roadways and plowing snow. The road crews typically work outdoors in moving operations.

Our crews will wear masks if they must work within 6 feet of one another. Employees are required to have a mask on hand, but only to wear it when social distancing is not possible.

Other COVID safety guidelines that are being implemented:

A safety training is conducted daily on all job sites. COVID safety requirement plans are kept in one designated vehicle so they are on site.

In each road district, a site-specific COVID supervisor is designated. This supervisor monitors the health of employees, including taking temperatures daily, and enforces the COVID safety plan.

Public Works will supply personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, safety glasses and face masks, as appropriate or required for the work being performed.

Gloves and eye protection must be worn at all times by every employee except while driving vehicles. If appropriate PPE cannot be provided, the worksite or task must be shut down.

Only one person is allowed in a vehicle unless approved by a supervisor. Or, if the vehicle has a back seat, a passenger can ride in the back seat. In this case, the passenger will wear a face shield and both employees will wear masks. Windows must be open at least 2 inches while driving.

During breaks, crew member will eat in their vehicles or outside, following social distancing guidelines.

Tools will be shared as little as possible. Tools will be cleaned daily and employees will wash their hands is sharing of tools must occur.

At the end of the day, crew members fuel up and then disinfect inside the vehicle they operated.

“There are going to be some adjustments with everyone working together again, and it may take some reminding before our new procedures become regular habits,” Harn said. “Some of these safety guidelines may even become the new way we operate.”


Older Articles

Weekend county snowplow operations differ from weekday operations

Posted On: December 20, 2023

Weekend county snowplow operations differ from weekday operations

On the weekends, our five road districts each have one operator working. That operator is going to be focused on main arterials, or those Priority 1 r...

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Passion for ‘big trucks’ drives O’Brien’s career with Public Works

Posted On: March 30, 2023

Passion for ‘big trucks’ drives O’Brien’s career with Public Works

A long-time passion for big trucks steered Donna O’Brien to Chelan County Public Works 14 years ago. While O’Brien is not the first woman at Chelan Co...

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Weight restrictions: They are coming, so be ready!

Posted On: February 08, 2023


Weight restrictions: They are coming, so be ready!

It’s that time of the year again, when the warming temps may bring temporary weight restrictions on county roads. While we don’t have any restrictions...

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Snow removal policies apply even in an emergency

Posted On: January 19, 2022


Snow removal policies apply even in an emergency

Chelan County is clarifying its snow removal policies with the public after receiving calls from frustrated citizens who were not prepared for the sig...

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Post-wildfire safety measures being put in place near 25-Mile Creek

Posted On: November 22, 2021

Post-wildfire safety measures being put in place near 25-Mile Creek

While the wildland firefighters are now gone, that doesn’t mean work on the Twenty-Five Mile Fire is over. Chelan County has been not only evaluating ...

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GIS tech creates emergency incidents map for wildfire response

Posted On: October 01, 2021

GIS tech creates emergency incidents map for wildfire response

Chelan County Public Works GIS technician Lori Beidler will be honored in October by the Washington Chapter of the American Public Works Association f...

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CCPW operators respond to cyclist in need of help

Posted On: April 12, 2021


CCPW operators respond to cyclist in need of help

Chelan County Public Works operators Earl Griffith and Curtis McClellan were in the right place at the right time when they came upon a stranded bicyc...

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2021 shaping up to be a busy construction year

Posted On: April 05, 2021


2021 shaping up to be a busy construction year

2021 is shaping up to be an active construction year for Chelan County Public Works. We are headed into the second year of the largest construction pr...

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With river construction comes underwater sound monitoring

Posted On: August 12, 2020

With river construction comes underwater sound monitoring

At the West Cashmere Bridge replacement project, you might get the chance to see an “acoustician” on site when the contractor is driving steel pilings...

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In-water work begins July 15 on West Cashmere Bridge project

Posted On: July 13, 2020

In-water work begins July 15 on West Cashmere Bridge project

With in-water construction related to the West Cashmere Bridge replacement project scheduled to begin July 15, Chelan County reminds recreationists on...

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Chelan County Calendar

Upcoming events and schedules at the county!

  • 27
    Mar 2024
    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM

    Planning Commission - March 27, 2024

    Posted by: Community Development

    400 Douglas Street
  • 27
    Mar 2024
    07:00 PM - 08:00 PM

    Assessor's Office Community Meeting: Cashmere, South Wenatchee and Malaga

    Posted by: Chelan County Assessor

    Chelan County Assessor Wes Cornelius invites property owners and all interested parties to attend one of four community meetings scheduled this spring throughout the county.

    Wenatchee High School (new commons area)
  • 20
    Mar 2024
    06:00 PM - 07:00 PM

    Connect with Chelan County: District 1 Meeting

    Posted by: Board Of County Commissioners

    The Chelan County team is coming to a community near you. In March commissioners and a variety of department directors will hold a series of community-led discussions in each of the three districts the commissioners represent.

    Wenatchee High School (new commons area)
  • 13
    Mar 2024
    06:00 PM - 07:30 PM

    Connect with Chelan County: District 3 Meeting

    Posted by: Board Of County Commissioners

    The Chelan County team is coming to a community near you. In March, Chelan County commissioners and a variety of department directors will hold a series of community-led discussions in each of the three districts commissioners represent.

    Chelan City Hall
  • 09
    Mar 2024
    09:00 AM - 01:00 PM

    March Parenting Class - English and Spanish

    Posted by: Superior Court Clerk

    Supporting Children Through Divorce is a four-hour educational program designed to help parents focus on the needs of their children during and after divorce and separation.

    Chelan County Administration Building - Enter building from Douglas Street