ACHD Drainage Crew overcomes challenges with flooding amid COVID-19, keeps roads safe

The Ada County Highway District responded to dozens of calls and emails about flooding after this week’s rain storms.

ACHD’s Drainage Crew completed 33 work orders on Wednesday and 20 on Thursday, all of which were related to the record-breaking rain. The crews worked an eleven-hour day on Wednesday to complete all work to make sure the roads and sidewalks were passable and safe.

This was all possible because ACHD’s mechanics spent the beginning of the week making sure all equipment was up and running.  The drainage trucks were not being used as frequently due to ACHD’s reduced operations in response to COVID-19. For nearly two months these trucks were only used once a week.

The drainage crew is made up of 11 operators, one lead worker and one crew chief. During the pandemic everyone worked, but the crew was split in half. By splitting the personnel by days, ACHD was able to isolate crews better so if a member on one crew got sick, it prevented the risk of spread to the entire team and the public.

In addition, ACHD implemented new procedures and gear to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Crews used pilot vehicles to maintain social distancing, operators worked with the same partners as often as possible, and all vehicles were sanitized at the beginning and end of each day. The District also provided crews with masks, sanitizer, and disinfectant.