Maintaining safe driving conditions during the winter months is a priority for the Public Works Dept. Snow removal and plowing are prioritized by a three-tiered system: primary plow routes, secondary plow routes, and residential plow areas. Completion of plowing is dependent on snow consistency and accumulation.
Primary plow routes are the main arteries of the city. These streets are essential to emergency transportation, and carry the bulk of vehicular traffic. Accordingly, these streets are the first to be plowed. Madison, Water, and most of Main Street fall into this category. Our goal for the primary streets is to keep the street open at all times, and to ultimately achieve bare pavement.
Secondary plow routes are the streets that directly feed the primary streets. Secondary streets provide access to schools, churches, businesses, and commercial areas that attract higher volumes of traffic. Our goal on secondary streets is to make sure they are open for travel. Salt, sand, or a mixture of both will be used at intersections, on hills, and curves; compacted snow is an acceptable surface.
Residential plow routes are low volume areas that will be plowed within 6 hours after the snow stops falling. Compacted snow is an expected driving surface. Sand, salt, or a mixture of both will be applied at intersections, hills, and curves for traction. To minimize compaction and maximize snow clearing alternate side parking is enforced. Further we would ask residents to do all they can to take their vehicles off the street.
Salt brine is applied to primary plow routes prior to snow events to prevent snow build up and expedite snow removal. Salt brine is an environmentally safe liquid solution consisting of water and dissolved salt. Using salt brine as an anti-icing and pre-wetting agent has been found to be cost-effective way to treat city streets, provide a safer driving surface, and reduce the amount of rock salt needed to melt ice and snow.