The Public Works Department has a proactive approach to snow and ice control operations through the effective use of manpower, equipment, chemicals and technology and takes a great deal of pride responsibility for keeping 78 miles of roadway within the Village as clear as possible of snow and ice accumulations. The Public Works Department is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the winter months to address snow and ice related concerns. In addition, the Village of Spring Grove needs the assistance of its residents and business owners to provide safe travel throughout the entire Village.
General Snow Removal Policy
This policy is a passable roads policy that specifically recognizes that some snow and ice may and will remain on the pavement for certain amounts of time after a snow/ice event. Ice control operations will commence when hazardous conditions begin to develop. The objective of the Village’s Ice Control Program is to respond to poor road condition reports within 30 minutes during normal work hours and within 60 minutes after hours. Snow plowing operations will commence after snow has started to accumulate on the pavement causing hazardous driving conditions.
The department operates full staff from 3 a.m. to 9 p.m. under most circumstances. Between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. staff is used as necessary to keep roads passable and address emergency situations. The village is divided into 6 routes and 1 support route. Roads are prioritized into 4 categories and level of service and order in which they are serviced is reflected by the category number.
The 4 categories are:
- Subdivision Main
- Secondary and cross streets
- Cul-de-sacs and dead ends
Right-of-way damage occurs occasionally when a plow leaves the road. The department strives for no or minimal damage but realizes some may occur. In the event you believe a plow damaged the turf we as you notify the public works department as soon as possible and by April 15th at the latest so repairs can be properly planned for. Repairs will take place when materials become available.
Salt & Chemical Use
In order to keep our roads as safe as possible, the Public Works Department not only uses salt (dry material) but combines salt with a liquid de-icing blend to aid in the removal of snow and ice accumulations on paved surfaces.
Benefits of using a liquid in addition to salt are:
- Salt needs moisture to work. Adding a liquid activates salt faster than just using a dry material.
- Using a liquid allows more salt to stay on the road when spread; therefore more material remains on the pavement.
- Lowers the working temperature of the salt.
- Can reduce salt usage by as much as 30%
- Contains an environmentally friendly product.
The department also uses a practice called anti-icing on selected Village-owned roads. Anti-icing is a chemical application to our main roads before an anticipated snow/ice event. This aids in the prevention of snow and/or ice from bonding to the pavement surface at the beginning of the event. The department produces its own liquid chemical called GeoBlend with the aid of an in-house production and blending system. You will recognize when a road has been given the application as it will have brown lines down each lane of travel.
The department’s goal is to utilize best practices and technology to only apply what materials are needed for a given situation. Material application rates are determined by pavement temperatures and trends. All front line trucks are equipped with pavement temperature sensors giving operators real-time, accurate information to determine how much material to apply. This information is also teamed up with application rate guidelines giving operators the information they need to properly dispense materials. The majority of the department’s front line trucks have computer controlled dispensing systems that allow the operator to apply uniform amounts of materials no matter what speed of the truck.
The use of abrasives (sand) is used sparingly and only if deemed necessary. Studies have shown that the use of abrasives for a traction aid, only the first 13 cars benefit before the abrasive is pushed into the packed snow and become ineffective.
Materials are never used to “burn” off snow accumulations and can lead to unnecessary waste. The village has a plow down first policy to remove as much snow from the roadway surface before applying materials. The sole purpose of materials is bond prevention so plows can easily remove accumulated snow. Once plowing is complete materials are utilized to break any additional snow/ice bond remaining.
A snow emergency may be declared by the Public Works Supervisor, Roads Chairperson, or other delegated authority when snow accumulations reach 6″ or greater in a 24 hour period. When a snow emergency has been declared all of the Public Works Department’s resources will be concentrated on snow and ice control. After the snow emergency has been cancelled, the department’s operations will return to normal. At that time any snow or mailbox concerns will be addressed along with any other service requests in a timely manner.
Snow in Driveways
Unfortunately while removing snow from the streets, snow gets deposited in the ends of driveways. We regret this inconvenience but recognize this as part of snow removal and we ask our residents and business owners to do the same. It is illegal to push or deposit snow across and/or onto the streets. We ask residents to be conscious of this law. To reduce the amount of snow that may get deposited into the end of your driveway, pile snow to the right side (as you face the street) of your drive.
Driveway, private road and parking lot snow clearing should be conducted in such a way so no snow from private property is left on the paved portion of the municipal roadways. This can create potentially hazardous conditions for motorists and increases overtime necessary for plow drivers to replow impacted areas. If your driveway is configured so there is no place to plow all your snow onto your own property, any snow that has been pushed onto the municipal roadway as a result of your driveway plowing must be cleared from the roadway immediately after your driveway is cleared. In addition, the snow must be pushed at least three (3) feet from the edge of the curb or edge of pavement. Please note that Public Works crews have been instructed to report any violations to the Spring Grove Police Department for enforcement action.
Kindly forward this information to any parties responsible for snow clearing at your property in order to help us to keep our municipal roadways safe during the winter season. Thank you for helping us in our efforts!
The Village policy only covers mailboxes that are physically struck by the snowplow. Mailboxes that sustain damage from the snow discharge off the plows are not repaired by the Village. Prior to winter, during dry-runs of their routes, drivers try to identify mailboxes that are not up to postal code and/or are in poor condition and a letter is send to the resident notifying them so appropriate steps may be taken to correct the issue. This helps reduce the amount of damage caused by snow discharge from the plows. A certain amount of speed is necessary to throw snow and drivers use their best judgment based on the type of snow. If you believe your mailbox was damaged during snow operations, notify the Village within 48 hours of the damage so staff can evaluate the damage. Temporary mailboxes will be set-up for mailboxes physically hit that are not repairable. Then the property owner has 2 options:
- The department will replace the mailbox with a standard post and box when conditions/weather permits.
- The Village will reimburse up to $50, upon receipt, toward the property owner making the repair or replacing the mailbox.
Concerns, Comments, Suggestions
Can be directed to the Public Works Department by calling the Village Hall. During snow and ice control operations, the Department may take more than a day to respond to an inquiry.