Public Works

Snow Removal

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To make the snow removal process as efficient as possible, city streets are classified in four levels:

  • Level 1 - Roadways that carry the highest volume of traffic. They generally have 3 or 4 lanes.
  • Level 2 - Streets that connect Level 1 roadways to residential streets
  • Level 3 - Dangerous hills and intersections throughout the city
  • Level 4 - Residential streets, cul-de-sacs and dead-ends

When a winter storm is forecast, Public Works staff monitors weather conditions throughout the city. Equipment is loaded and crews are placed on standby to respond when called.  Streets will be pre-treated as necessary. Crews are dispatched to Level 1 roadways once freezing rain, sleet or snow begins to fall. As long as snow is accumulating crews will remain on Level 1 roads until all driving and turn lanes are cleared.

Public Works crews then move to Level 2 streets. These streets are plowed until passable, which means some snow will remain on the road surface. Level 3 intersections and hills are next to be plowed or treated. With a typical winter storm, it generally takes between 12 and 16 hours to clear Level 1, 2 and 3 streets after the snow stops. High winds, extremely cold temperatures and additional rain or snowfall will lengthen this time.

Level 4 residential streets will then be opened with one pass. Residents are asked to not park vehicles on the street when snow is forecast. If parking on the street is unavoidable, vehicles should be parked along the north side of east-west streets and along the west side of north-south streets.

Snow removal shifts are staffed 24 hours a day during winter storm events. Crews work on 12-hour alternating shifts during the week, weekends and holidays to provide continuous operations until roads are cleared.

NOTE: The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) maintains some roads in Independence. These include I-70, M-291 Hwy, M-78 Hwy (23rd Street), US 24 Hwy, US 40 Hwy and Truman Road from Spring Street to the west city limits. Use the MoDOT Traveler Information Map to determine which streets are maintained by MoDOT and check current conditions.

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Weather & Traffic

How to Keep Your Driveway Clear Courtesy of MoDOT

Removing snow from private driveways, entrances and sidewalks is the responsibility of the residential owner, occupant, community association, or business. To reduce the amount of snow being plowed back into driveways, shovel an open area along the shoulder at the drive entrance (see illustration). Plows will then push the snow into the area just before your driveway, leaving a smaller amount in front of your driveway. MoDOT has provided a short video about this.

Continuous freeze-thaw cycles can cause potholes in streets. Residents are encouraged to report potholes in the Action Center or call the Pothole Hotline at 325-7624 so repairs can be scheduled.