Whether it’s scheduled maintenance or an emergency repair, Poway’s small but mighty crew of Public Works Street Maintenance workers get the job done.
“We keep the city streets, sidewalks and signs maintained for residents and visitors,” said Street Maintenance Supervisor Jesse Gonzales.
Annually, work is concentrated in one of the eight maintenance zones in the city, but – just as with life in general – things don’t always go as planned. And although they wear orange shirts instead of capes, these superheroes on the Street Maintenance team are always there to save the day when an emergency arises on any of Poway’s 165 miles of city-maintained roads and right-of-ways.
“Flexibility and adaptability are key to the program,” observed Public Works Operations Manager Michael Obermiller.
For instance, in between scheduled work on a recent sidewalk replacement project off Monte Vista Road (near the hospital), crews were diverted to the Garden Road area to repair a section of asphalt dug up during a water main repair. Then a couple days later crews began its annual maintenance on the Poway Grade. The city closes the narrow, winding section of Poway Road between Espola and Highway 67 so that crews can safely and efficiently make their way through their yearly checklist.
Over two days, crews walked the entire 2.5-plus mile stretch of the Poway Grade collecting 52 large bags of trash (equating to 2,000 gallons of trash), plus approximately 200 pounds of other debris. They cut back brush, repaired damaged signs and removed dirt/debris from all lanes (including bike lanes). They worked with a local contractor to repair sections of chain link fence and the Stormwater division of Public Works to clean storm drains.
When asked what makes a great Street Maintenance team member, Gonzales pointed out five important characteristics. Number one is to be a hard worker, because there’s no way around it – it’s hard work. Number two is the ability to absorb new skills like a sponge, because Street Maintenance is to Public Works what a utility player is to a sports team: someone who can do it all. The list is rounded out by three more characteristics that help define our exceptional crew members: someone who is observant to what’s going on around them (as safety is a top priority), dependable and gets along with others.