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Learn how Downtown Holland's Snowmelt System keeps sidewalks and roads clear during winter

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Learn how downtown Holland's Snowmelt System works to keep sidewalks free of snow
Posted at 11:21 AM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 11:23:49-05

Many shoppers would agree one of the most appealing traits of downtown Holland in the wintertime is the lack of snow on the sidewalks and streets. Ever wonder how those roads stay ice-free? It's all thanks to the city's impressive underground Snowmelt System.

Todd took a trip to downtown Holland to meet with the team at Holland Energy Park to learn where the energy comes from to power this advanced snow melting system, and how it works during harsh Michigan winters.

Snowmelt is maintained by the Holland Board of Public Works in collaboration with Holland Energy Park. Snowmelt was created in 1988 and has become the largest municipally-run snowmelt system in the United States.

By using waste heat from power generated by the Holland Energy Park, water is heated and circulated through 120 miles of 3/4 inch plastic tubing underneath the streets and sidewalks of downtown Holland. With the water heating up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the system can melt 1 inch of snow per hour, even at 20 degrees Fahrenheit with 10 miles per hour winds!

Holland has 600,000 square feet of tubing totaling 4.9 miles and 10.5 acres of heated streets and sidewalks. Along with the main drag of 8th Street, the Snowmelt System is also installed under sidewalks along River Avenue to the Herrick District Library, along Central Avenue to Evergreen Commons, to the Holland Civic Center and Farmers Market area, and to the parking deck on 7th Street.

Learn more about Holland Energy Park by heading to hollandenergypark.com.

To discover all the events and shops to explore in downtown Holland, visit holland.org.

MI Vacay is sponsored by the Holland Convention & Visitors Bureau.