Snow Plowing Updates

by Charlie Romines, Streets Superintendent
posted January 25, 2021 2:05 PM

With more snow coming, Streets Division plow trucks will be on the roads. Travel this evening through Tuesday morning will be difficult and slippery. Plan on needing extra time for your morning commutes as you will encounter snowy roads. Remember to be slow, patient, and alert. And, overall, make good choices when on the roads.

When the snow begins to stick to the pavement, the Streets Division will deploy 32 trucks to the main thoroughfares of Madison that make up the salt route network. Salt routes make up a little under half of all the traffic lanes of our city. The trucks will be plowing these streets and salting them as needed. They will be circling through these routes for the entirety of the snowstorm.

This event is expected to hit later this evening and last on through the night into the Tuesday morning commute. Overnight travel will be tough, even on main roads as active snowfall will cover over what had just been cleared by the plows. And the morning commute will be slow thanks to the snowy conditions. To reiterate, it is important to plan on needing extra travel time so you can arrive at your destinations safely.

Forecasts also show the possibility for wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour. This may lead to drifting snow that could affect drivers' visibility, particularly on the roads bordering open spaces, like the roads bordering fields on the far west side and the roads along our lakes.

Streets that are not on salt routes will be snow covered and slippery. Most often, these are the streets that cut through residential areas. These roads are only plowed when a full citywide plowing operation is underway. Citywide plowing only occurs when there are three or more inches of snow accumulated on the roads and the storm has concluded.

No determination has been made at this time if a citywide plowing operation will be necessary in response to the storm coming tonight.

As a precaution in case a citywide plowing operation is declared, residents with a Tuesday trash & recycling collection are reminded not to place their collection carts in the street for pickup tomorrow. Instead, use your driveway apron or a cleared spot on your terrace. Carts in the street slow plowing operations because trucks have to maneuver around these obstacles. It also leaves portions of the street unplowed.

Streets Division staff will continue to monitor the roads and the weather. If operations change, or a citywide plowing gets underway, future updates will be provided.

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