The snow and ice removal program provides safe travel for emergency services, residents, and businesses in a timely and cost-effective manner during winter weather.
What happens when winter weather is forecast?
When winter weather is predicted, the Field Operations Department activates its snow program. Salt spreaders and snow plows are mounted onto 45 City trucks. One hundred employees begin working around the clock in 12-hour shifts until the streets are clear.
What does the City do when winter weather begins?
If snow is forecast, crews apply a salt brine solution to major thoroughfares, bridges, and overpasses 24 to 48 hours in advance. This helps prevent snow from sticking to the pavement and makes plowing and additional salting more effective.
If snow or freezing rain begins to fall, crews spread salt on bridges and overpasses first since they are safety hazards. The salt prevents ice from forming and begins the melting process. Next, heavily traveled streets, called Priority 1 streets are treated. If one or more inches of snow falls, crews begin plowing roadways.
How do you determine which streets are cleared first?
During inclement weather, the City treats almost 700 miles of streets. Priority 1 routes, which are emergency service routes and major thoroughfares, such as Wendover Avenue, Battleground Avenue, and Gate City Boulevard are cleared first, followed by minor thoroughfares. Residential streets are plowed only after the main priority streets have been cleared.
When will the roads be cleared?
After precipitation ends, Field Operations' goal is to:
- have 90 percent of Priority 1 routes to bare pavement within 36 hours
- have 75 percent of Priority 2 routes to bare pavement within 48 hours
- have 75 percent of residential streets drivable within 72 hours.
How can I find out if my street is on a snow route?
To view real-time status of street cleaning during inclement weather, visit interactive snow removal route map.
How much salt does the City have?
The City has a salt storage facility that holds up to 3,000 tons of salt.
Where does the City get its weather information?
The City uses a combination of sources including the Internet, local news media, and the national weather service.
What type of training do the snow crews have?
Each fall, crews receive refresher training on proper procedures for loading and unloading equipment, plowing and salting, reviewing and updating snow routes, and street assignments.
How is the equipment maintained?
Trucks and equipment are cleaned after every event to minimize corrosion. Each piece of equipment is thoroughly cleaned in the spring and undergoes preventive maintenance in the summer to ensure good working order for the next season.
Where does the money come from for dealing with winter weather?
Funds for the snow program are set aside each year. Any unspent funds are added to the street maintenance budget for repair and resurfacing of streets.
What about the snow pile the City trucks leave at the end of my driveway?
When snow plows clear the streets in your area, extra snow can collect along the curb and in driveways. Since it would drastically slow the snow removal process, our crews are not able to remove snow from residential or commercial driveway entrances, parking lots, or sidewalks. If needed, please shovel off the extra snow in your driveway and place it near the curb or in your yard. If you put it back in the street, plows could push it back into your driveway when they come by again.
Who do I call if my mailbox was damaged by a city truck?
If you believe a snow plow damaged your mailbox, call 373-CITY (2489). Each call will be investigated and, if it is determined that a snow plow caused damage, the City will fix your mailbox.