Winter Operations Initiated
The City of Colorado Springs snow crews are currently working in affected areas.Primary routes will be cleared first. Primary routes are multi-lane roads with large volumes of traffic or hospital access. Once the primary routes are passable, crews will move to secondary routes. Secondary routes include collector streets and school access. The City is responsible for 1,780 lane miles of primary and secondary streets.
It can take six hours or more to clear the primary routes in a large event; and, if snow is continuously falling, the primary routes often have to be treated more than once, delaying when crews can start on secondary routes. We ask residents to be patient and to delay optional trips in the first few hours or more of a snow event. There are several ways to stay informed about current conditions:
- Whether snow crews have been called out can be found on www.SpringsGov.com under News.
- Citizens can sign up for the City’s Twitter account (@springsgov) to receive the above information directly.
- The City will also provide this information to the local media outlets to be used in crawlers.
- Citizens can observe current conditions by making use of the City’s online traffic cameras.
- The automated snow line, 457-7669, will have a recording about the current callout status.
- Colorado Springs National Weather Service forecast information is available at 573-6846.
Per current policy, the Streets Division will not respond to residential streets until at least 6 inches of snow has accumulated, and the primary and secondary routes have been cleared, and the snow has stopped falling. In a large event, it could be several days before residential streets that meet the above conditions are treated. Residential streets that meet the conditions will have a single lane treated on a grid by grid basis, so requests to the Streets Division are not necessary and will not change the order of response. Grids needing the most attention will be serviced first.
In addition to plowing, the City also puts down various treatments to combat icy conditions. Plows cannot remove ice from a road. The scrapers purposely do not reach street level to avoid damaging the roadway. Plows remove the top layer of snow and then put down treatment behind it. Most areas of the City receive anti-skid material, which is a salt and crushed rock mixture which can only contain up to 20% salt, per the City’s environmental permit. The City’s permit does allow the use of salt in the downtown area only, and it is applied there during storm events. The City also uses a product called Ice Slicer on portions of the primary route, which is material that can melt ice on road surfaces with a lower temperature than salt can. This product is significantly more expensive than anti-skid or salt, so it is selectively used in areas with high traffic volume to improve north-south and east-west mobility.
As a reminder, property owners are responsible for snow and ice control on adjacent sidewalks, driveways and private parking lots. Residential property owners are responsible for clearing any sidewalks in front of their property within 24 hours of when snow stops falling.