Snow and Ice Operations
Winter and the weather it brings our region can lead to a balancing act of priorities for the Department of Public Works. The City of St. Charles classifies streets based on the function, volume and importance to the welfare of the community. Throughout winter weather events, Public Works attempts to keep all City streets sufficiently passable. The order with which roads are cleared during winter weather operations is based on the roads priority.
- Priority 1 – Arterials – High volume streets or thoroughfares that connect major sections of the City and provide access for emergency fire, police and medical services
- Priority 2 – Collectors – Major collector thoroughfares or main subdivision collector streets that provide access to arterial routes
- Priority 3 – Residential Streets – Low volume residential streets
Public Works operated trucks will first concentrate on Priority 1 and Priority 2 routes. However, one goal for snow and ice removal is to achieve and maintain safe traffic movements throughout the City. To accomplish this task, contractors are often dispatched to clear Priority 3 (residential streets) prior to treatment by Public Works trucks.
The minimum level of service for thoroughfares is to clear the through lanes and left-turn lanes at intersections and median breaks to a packed snow cover. Exclusive right-turn lanes and joint center-turn lanes may be left unplowed. This strategy will allow adequate movement by properly equipped and prudently operated vehicles. In these conditions, travel delays may be likely and surface conditions will require slower speeds. Furthermore, roadway widths could be reduced by banked snow.
It is Department policy to practice salt conservation through careful storage and application. Salt is an effective and economical chemical for ice control, but over-application wastes money, depletes critical stockpiles and could led to environmental concerns. As time and weather permits, the Department of Public Works will plow and apply material to achieve bare pavement, curb-to-curb, on all 545 lane miles of streets in the City.
Residents can assist the Department of Public Works by:
- Keeping parked cars off all roadways, especially courts and cul-de-sacs
- Not approaching snow plows or interfering with snow removal
- Pile snow to the right-side of the driveway to reduce the potential of having it redeposited when plows pass
A recorded message regarding current snow and ice conditions can be found by dialing the Snow Hotline at 636-255-6153.