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* Homepage News & Announcements

Posted on: December 7, 2017

Winter Weather: We're Ready

We enjoyed some warmer weather in November, but the cold has returned, and we even saw some snow flurries last night. We are out cleaning leaves off of the streets and also getting ready for winter operations. Did you know that in winter we maintain 184 miles of public roads, dead end streets and alleys, 10 city owned parking lots, all public sidewalks, bridge walks and bus stops? The number one focus of our winter roadway maintenance operations is public safety.

Our Public Works team does this with a variety of equipment: 

  • 38 plow trucks; 23 with salters, 14 of which have 150 gallon pre-wet systems for anti-icing
  • 3 anti-icing trucks - 500, 900, and 1800 gallons
  • 2 end loaders, with 1 snow blower attachment
  • 5 Trackless and 1 skid steer to clear sidewalks
  • Salt dome at the Public Works Yard that stores 3,000 tons of salt

It's not just about the equipment during winter operations. Making the right decisions for winter roadway maintenance comes from a combination of reliable data (weather and road conditions), training, understanding our resources, their capabilities, and experience. You may see the City  deploying many different responses to winter weather, including:

  • Anti-icing: a proactive snow and ice control strategy that deploys a small amount of liquid chemical to pavement ahead of a storm to prevent ice from bonding to the surface.
  • Pre-wetting: a proactive application of a granular salt mixture to help jump start the melting process. Studies have shown that up to 30% of applied dry salt can blow off of the roadway and pre-wetting is a more efficient way to apply salt to prevent blow off. 
  • Sensible salting: no mid-block salting and no salting until snow is removed from the pavement. 
  • Spot salting: we send out between 1 and 4 operators to salt trouble spots, hills, bridges, and other icy areas we receive reports on. 
  • Full scale plowing: typically happens when there is 3 - 4 inches or more of snow and requires the deployment of 30 trucks to plow 15 routes.
  • Salting only operation: a reduced staff of between 12 and 24 operators are deployed.
  • Gang plowing: multiple trucks are deployed onto main streets to keep mains open during a heavy snow storm.
  • Clean up plowing: 1 to 2 days after a storm we deploy to do road clean up.

Winter road maintenance is one of our foremost municipal responsibilities and we are ready for what the weather may bring. 

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