City Purchases Two Snowblowers as South Boston Snow Pile Refuses to Melt

The once 20-foot pile contained at least 30 tons of garbage, and Mayor Marty Walsh wants you to guess when it'll disappear.

Associated Press

Photo via AP

Winter’s over, but the nasty mountain of snow and garbage piled high on Tide Street in South Boston is still standing, serving as a reminder to the snowiest winter in the city’s history.

To better prepare for next winter, the city recently purchased two new truck-mounted snowblowers, effectively enhancing its snow removal capabilities. In past winters, the city has rented similar equipment from other municipalities and agencies.

The new snow-clearing units cost $645,000 each, take 90 days to build, and come in two parts: an L90 Volvo truck and a LaRue D55 snowblower. Together, they can remove 2,570 tons of snow per hour.

The purchases coincide with an expansion of the city’s snow and ice removal budget, a 21.9-percent increase from 2015, when Boston budgeted approximately $18.5 million for snow removal and ended up spending over $40 million. The city has steadily increased its snow removal budget since 2012, when spending was set at $17,059,444.

Will the city turn these new snowblowers on the remains of the South Boston snow pile? Probably not, as the snow is expected to melt by the end of the summer. In fact, the city wants your best guess as to when exactly that will be. “This is a fun and creative way for residents to come together and make light of what was a long, challenging winter,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a release announcing the contest.”

Entries must be submitted via Twitter—tweeted at @marty_walsh with the hashtag #BOSMeltNow—or email by July 15, and include the exact date when the snow will disappear from the Tide Street lot. Winners will get a “meet and greet” with Walsh.

“Now that it’s summer, we can have some fun and talk about how we recovered from the historic amount of snow Boston received. I’m surprised to see that we still have unmelted snow here,” Walsh said.

The city could have dumped snow removed from city streets into the harbor but thought better of it due to concerns about dumping garbage and hazardous items into the harbor. Over 30 tons of garbage have been removed from the Tide Street snow pile, which once stood about 20-feet tall.