January 13, 2009
City of Independence Snow Removal
Winter weather can create potentially dangerous driving conditions. The City's Public Works Street Maintenance Division has primary responsibility for clearing the 1,156 lane miles of Independence city streets. During extended winter storm events, additional personnel from the Parks & Recreation and Water Pollution Control departments assist in snow removal efforts.
Preparation begins with crews mounting and checking the spreaders and plows in late Fall to ensure all equipment is in working order. Materials for snow removal operations include 2,500 tons of salt which is ordered in advance and stored in the City's salt dome located off Vista Avenue.
Weather monitoring plays a significant role during snow and ice events. The City contracts with a private weather company who keeps City staff appraised of weather conditions twice a day and nearly every hour during snow events. These notifications are vital to operations to ensure timely mobilization of the City's resources.
The City's snow operation crews are on standby at least one hour before a storm is forecasted to begin in order to be prepared for the emergency situation. Crews are staffed 24-hours a day during snow and ice events and work on 12-hour rotating shifts during the week, weekends and holidays providing continuous 24-hour operations until roads are cleared.
The snow removal fleet consists of over 30 pieces of equipment. A system of street plowing/treatment priorities has been developed. The City's streets are cleared in this sequence: First Priority (thoroughfares and main collectors) are plowed first followed by Second Priority (residential collector) streets. Third Priority (residential streets with problem areas and bad intersections) will be plowed and treated next followed by the remaining Residential Streets.
Private driveways, entrances and sidewalks are the responsibility of the residential owner, occupant, community association, or business for snow removal. To reduce the problem of snow being plowed back into driveways, snow should be shoveled to the right of driveways or into yards rather than into the street. Also, potholes can result from continuous freeze-thaw cycle. Residents are encouraged to alert the City of those locations so repairs can be scheduled. Snow removal and ice control is one of the most important components of street maintenance. It requires dedication of employees and the cooperation of citizens. For more information, please contact Street Maintenance at (816) 325-7627.
Streets not cleared by the City include private streets, shopping areas, and certain private neighborhoods. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is responsible for snow removal on the following highways and ramps: I-70, M-291, M-78/23rd Street, 24-Highway, 40-Highway and Truman Road (west of Spring). For information about snow operations on state routes, contact MoDOT at (816) 622-6500 or visit them on line at www.modot.org/roadconditions.