CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - In weather like what Cedar Rapids has experienced recently, few appreciate the clear concrete of a shoveled sidewalk more than mail carriers. Guys like Kelly Steinke, with the USPS, walk 20 or more blocks each day. Steinke said it's a big help when the ground beneath him isn't a big mound of snow.
"Technically, we're supposed to walk through yards," said Steinke. "But, it gets difficult, especially when we get a lot of snow, with elevation changes. It's probably safer to walk out around on the cement. Hopefully it's shoveled."
Unfortunately for Steinke, the city of Cedar Rapids said there are literally hundreds of sidewalks in town still waiting for a good scooping. Public Works said people are typically given 48 hours to clear sidewalks of snow and ice, but the severe cold prompted an extension.
With the weekend promising warmer weather, the city said it's time to shovel.
"This gives those people a chance to get out there and do it this weekend. That's the best time to do it, on a weekend when the temperatures are up near the mid- to higher 20's," said Public Works Maintenance Manager Craig Hanson.
Property owners who choose not to clear their sidewalks will have them tagged and cleared by city. Hanson warned it won't be cheap.
"It's the cost of the clearance, plus an admin charge on top of it," said Hanson. "So you could be looking at well over 100 dollars to clear a sidewalk."
Hanson said it'll cost a lot less to do it yourself, or hire a clearing service.
To keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice, Public Works said it depends on people to report it when they see it. Contact the city at 286-5802.