“We’re making every effort to make sure the efficiency of the system is where it should be,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “We’re cooperating every day with the Board of Light & Power to make sure it works like it was designed to work.”
The system is supposed to melt snow faster on the sidewalks than in the street. Tubes in the street are lower and less densely packed, so snow won’t immediately disappear when hitting the surface.
Officials say that the system will reduce accumulation and mostly eliminate the need for de-icing and plowing. It is expected that some storms will cause temporary accumulation, and a sustained heating effort will gradually melt away the snow and ice.
“It’s a very complex system, and we intend to have it ready to melt the snow,” McGinnis said.
To make things more efficient in the second full year of operation, city officials and the power provider recently made improvements to the system on the Harbor Island side of the river.
Jeff Chandler, director of production for the Board of Light & Power, said additional parts were installed to provide an automatic method for the power plant operators to turn the snowmelt system on and off. It will also make for a more efficient and easily operated system.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.