Pittsburgh Public Works launches internal investigation following snow response issues

PITTSBURGH — It was a rough start to the winter season for Public Works crews.

Sources told Target 11 that there were some response issues. One issue was bad enough to spark an internal investigation, and a salt truck even took out a utility pole.

According to dispatch reports, three police cars and a fire truck were also involved in weather-related crashes across the city.

“It wasn’t plowed at all,” said Davina Rose, a Northside resident. “There’s no real pathway. There’s not a lot of traffic down there. It was tough, I slid around for a while.”

Target 11 has learned that the response on the Northside may have been delayed because some of the salt trucks were not equipped with plows. Sources say crews had to quickly put them on Thursday night, after the snow began falling. Sources told Target 11 that the plows should have been put on before it started snowing.

Public Works sources say there were also response concerns in Oakland, near the hospitals. It’s a primary route that’s supposed to be treated first, but according to sources, it wasn’t.

Rose works in Oakland, and was there when the snow started.

“Everyone that was coming in was talking about how terrible the conditions were, how bad the hills were,” she said. “I guess this is Pittsburgh’s first winter ever. We’ve never seen snow before, we are never ever prepared. But let’s hope we make it till April.”

Rose also says she hopes Mayor Ed Gainey can straighten things out.

The mayor did issue a news release late Friday, saying they implemented a ‘robust’ snow plan.

A spokesperson for UPMC told Target 11 that they didn’t experience any problems related to the weather.

Sources tell Target 11 that an internal investigation at the Division of Public Works is now under way to determine what led to the slow response.