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Plowing & De-Icing Operations

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Overview - Snow Plowing Operations

The Operations Division directs and oversees the plowing and de-icing operations for the City of Janesville. 

The decision to begin plowing is made by the Director of Public Works, the Operations Director, or the Operations Superintendent. Weather forecasts are continuously monitored to ensure that plowing crews are notified of the possibility of snow removal operations and to anticipate any changes to ongoing or planned plowing events.

Plowing Ride Along 

Full Plow Operations

A full plow operation will begin after snow accumulation has ended for storms that produce a minimum of 2 to 3 inches of snow. Plowing operations may begin before snowfall has subsided if exceptional conditions are anticipated, such as a high accumulation rate, extremely low temperatures, or drifting.  All City streets are plowed as close to the curb as possible.

The primary goal of a full plowing operation is to have City streets cleared of snow and to achieve bare pavement on arterial streets within 24 hours of a storm’s completion.

Snow removal is performed on all City streets and alleys, with the following priorities:

  1. Arterial Streets
  2. Collector Streets
  3. Residential Streets
  4. Alleys & Public Parking Lots

If conditions warrant, a snow emergency will be declared as much in advance as possible so that vehicles are moved from the roadways.  For more information on snow emergencies or to learn how to be notified of a snow emergency declaration, please visit the Snow Emergencies webpage.

Partial Plow Operations

If less than 2 to 3 inches of snow have fallen, or if another snowfall event is anticipated within a short amount of time, snow removal crews will not plow all City streets.  This means that residential streets will not be plowed.   

Plowing may also be scheduled and performed when accumulation rates are lower than 2 to 3 inches, if very low temperatures are forecasted that may cause considerable icing.

Residential Plow Operations

If a significant amount of packed snow has accumulated on residential streets that requires cleanup, a separate residential plow operation may be scheduled.  This type of snow removal may also occur if significant amounts of slush are present on roadways that could re-freeze, creating slippery or hazardous driving conditions. 

Residential plow operations are scheduled in advance for a time period when additional snowfall is not expected.  Please visit the Snow Emergencies webpage to learn how to be notified of any upcoming plowing events.

Downtown Snow Removal Operations

Downtown snow removal begins when snowfall accumulation reaches the point where pedestrian and vehicular traffic becomes restricted. The Director of Public Works, the Operations Director, or the Operations Superintendent is responsible for determining whether or not the snow has sufficiently accumulated to warrant snow removal in the discretionary areas.

Prior to downtown snow removal events, property owners are asked to remove as much snow as possible from the terrace into the curb line as possible. Residents are also asked not to park in the downtown area roadways to facilitate snow removal efforts. 

Overview - De-Icing Operations

The application of de-icing and/or abrasive materials to streets is an important aspect of ice and snow removal operations and is the primary method of managing snow storms with accumulations less than 2 to 3 inches. The application of these chemicals early during a winter weather event helps prevent or reduce the bonding of snow and ice to pavement, which makes plowing and obtaining clear pavement easier.

 Chemical Storage CSC

De-icing operations can occur before, during, and after plowing operations. During sleet, freezing rain, or freezing fog events, the application of de-icing materials is the only solution. 

Proper application rate and frequency will maintain roadways throughout an event and allow for easier snow removal operations. The amount of chemical applied to a roadway is highly variable and is dictated by weather, air and road surface temperature, as well as road conditions at the time of application. Generally, arterial and collector streets are treated with chemicals as soon as snow begins to accumulate. A typical de-icing operation takes approximately 6 to 8 hours to complete.

The Operations Division staff also perform proactive anti-icing operations when minor snowfall events are anticipated.  For more information, please visit the Anti-Icing Operations webpage.

Contact Us

For questions or concerns regarding snow plowing and de-icing operations, please contact the City Services Center at 755-3110 (Monday through Friday, between 7am and 4pm.) or report the issue online by clicking here

During non-working hours, messages may be left on the City Services Center voicemail, or you may dial the Police non-emergency number at 757-2244 to report slippery road conditions. 

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