February 01, 2011

News Release

For Immediate Release

Public Works Enacts Emergency Snow Removal Plan

The Department of Public Works is setting forth an emergency snow removal plan for the entire city in response to the exceptional snowfall in Springfield today. The expanded plan is essential for emergency response vehicles to access City streets, and will allow all drivers a safer path to reach "collector" streets and major arterials.

The plans include plowing residential streets, but only after roadways with higher volumes of traffic are cleared following the end of the snowfall. Residential streets are not plowed by Public Works during normal snow events.

Public Works will continue to focus on major roads Tuesday afternoon and evening, as the forecast calls for continued snowfall. These roads include the arterial and collector streets identified in red (arterials) and blue (collectors) on the City snow routes map found at www.springfieldmo.gov/maps.

Once the snowfall ceases, Public Works crews will focus on plowing these first two tiers of roadways as much as is practical, and will treat them with rock salt and calcium chloride to promote melting once the temperatures rise later in the week. This plowing and treatment process normally takes approximately 12 hours.

Following that step, crews will begin plowing minor collector streets and residential streets. Plans include placing three to four plow teams in each quadrant of the city. This plan is meant to ensure all areas of the city receive plowing services simultaneously.

Because of the large number of miles of residential streets, Public Works crews will make one pass on either side of the street and then move on to the next street. Citizens shoveling driveways should place their snow "downstream," in the direction of traffic, so that the truck does not plow the recently shoveled snow back into the driveway. If standing in the driveway facing the street, shovel snow to your right side. Clearing away snow immediately "upstream" of the driveway is also advised. (See a video guide: http://bit.ly/shoveldrive)

The plow blade will be carrying snow that will leave a windrow in the driveways as they pass. Snowplows will not be able to plow out the driveways due to the time involved and the amount of work that needs to be accomplished.

Plowing Springfield's network of residential streets will take time. The process is expected to take at least 48 hours, once it is started. Citizens are urged not to travel unless necessary, and to exercise extreme caution when they do.

Drivers should be advised that the extremely cold temperatures expected this week will mitigate some of the effect of the salt mix, which is most effective in temperatures above approximately 20 degrees. Roads of all types across the city are likely to remain slick throughout the week until temperatures rise.

For more information, contact: Phil Broyles, Co-Interim Director of Public Works, (417) 864-1950; Jonathan Gano, Interim Assistant Director of Public Work, (417) 864-1961; or Mike Brothers, Co-Interim Director of Public Information, (417) 894-9064.

city of springfield

Department of Public Works

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1900 • springfieldmo.gov