The city's public works department is geared up for the 2013/14 winter season, incorporating some significant changes to its snow and ice control program. The recent addition of a seventh snowplow/sander will bolster the fleet to improve conditions on some of the city's major arterial streets.
The department contracted with a private firm to complete a snow route optimization analysis. Optimizing snow and ice control required a completely new perspective on the sequencing and development of snow routes and the deployment of equipment. The Streets Division has revised its routes for each truck to be more efficient for all of the city's primary and secondary snow routes. The goal is to clear the major streets first with operators teaming up, running trucks in tandem to be more effective on the heavily-travelled primary streets. Once first-priority streets are considered passable, crews will begin plowing and deicing secondary roads, one truck per route. This change in operations should work to the motorists' advantage as the crews concentrate on major streets during the first hours of a snowstorm event.
Public works employees have endorsed these changes in order to work smarter and to accomplish more with less. The routes for the primary streets are designed to be equal in length and completed within 1 hour and 45 minutes, using two trucks on each route.
The city's preparedness includes:
- Seven snowplow/sanders and one reserve truck
- A large, six-wheel drive motor grader, one front-end loader and two backhoes for cutting ice and significant snow accumulations
- Recently-installed GPS tracking systems in all trucks to assist drivers on primary and secondary routes
- 1,400 tons of Ice Slicer, 5,000 gallons of magnesium chloride (MgCl2)
- 16 operators trained and available 24/7 for snow call-outs
- Nine employees from the department's Grounds Division for clearing city-owned sidewalks and parking lots
The Public Works Department has sufficient funds available for even the worst of winter seasons, including overtime and fuel expenses. All trucks have been thoroughly serviced, with plows and sanders mounted and ready to go since mid-October.
The Colorado Department of Transportation manages snow and ice control on Santa Fe Drive, Belleview Avenue (east of Federal Boulevard), Platte Canyon Road and C-470.
For the safety of pedestrians, residents and businesses are required to remove snow from sidewalks and other public right-of-ways on their property (including RTD bus stops) within 24 hours after snow fall has ended. Click the map below to download a large, printable PDF version.