A light snowfall that blanketed Indianapolis gave the city a chance to test its snow-removal strategy for the Super Bowl — a plan intended to prevent a repeat of the traffic snarls that plagued last year's game in Dallas.
A storm dropped only about 1.5 inches of snow on the city Thursday, but served as a dress-rehearsal to prepare the city for a larger storm as it prepares for its big week in the spotlight next month.
The city's Department of Public Works had a full fleet of 102 salt truck drivers out on the roads when first flakes started to fall Thursday afternoon in what became Indianapolis' first significant snowfall of 2012.
Crews worked into Friday to clear roads, said department spokeswoman Kara Brooks, adding that initial reports indicated that everything went smoothly.
"This is how it would be if it was like this during the Super Bowl, so we're ready," she told WRTV-TV.
When Dallas hosted the Super Bowl last year a storm coated the Texas city with ice, snarling travel before the game and caused dangerous sheets of ice to fall from Cowboys Stadium.
That same storm pummeled Indianapolis and caused the collapse of a canopy at the Indianapolis International Airport.
The city's snow-removal plan centered around the Feb. 5 game anticipates possibilities ranging from high winds and ice to heavy snow accumulations on the city's more than 6,000 lane miles.
"Last year, we learned that pretreating out early worked and is a good answer for getting out ahead of the ice," Brooks said
Under the city snow-removal plan, if more than 6 inches of snow falls in one storm during the Super Bowl week, outside contractors will be brought in to lend a hand on the roads and at the city's airport.
The Indianapolis Star reported that even some alleys will be cleared during Super Bowl festivities, with the expectation that they will see more traffic.
Indianapolis International Airport also has a special plan to deal with bad weather. Special snow removal equipment will join its arsenal of plows to keep runways clear for the 40,000 visitors who touch down during game week.