Depending on the time of year, accumulation and temperatures, the city uses two plowing methods. Snow will be either plowed to the sides or to the middle of the street.
Plowing to the Sides
Plowing to the sides of the street is done when accumulation is less than 4 inches on all routes prior to December 1st and after March 15th when temperatures allow relatively rapid melting. It may be inconvenient for a short time but this does allow the streets to dry sooner. Dry streets are safer for the motoring public and reduce repair costs.
In some areas, the snow will always be plowed to the sides. These are areas where there is ample room for snow (barrow ditches, vacant land) or when the streets are too narrow to accommodate windrows. The one-way sections of 12th and 13th Streets, most State highway jurisdictions, certain streets around Wyoming Medical Center, and streets in some business areas are always plowed to the sides.
Plowing to the Middle
Plowing to the middle is generally done to clear a pathway throughout the city that accommodates emergency vehicles and the motoring public during snowstorms. This is done to minimize impact to residential driveways, commercial driveways and stormdrains. Snow is plowed to the middle of the street in windrows. The plowing crews will attempt to open intersections as they go for safer turning movements
The streets may not be plowed the entire width to prevent damage to the snow plows and curbs. Every effort is made to not block driveways or sidewalks, but there are some instances when snow may get placed in front of driveways or on sidewalks. When this occurs it is the responsibility of the property owner to remove the snow from the driveway or sidewalk. We apologize for the inconvenience that this causes.
Windrow Etiquette and Safety
Cutting through windrows and knocking down windrows can result in vehicle damage, personal injury, and cleanup delay. Windrows often contain vehicle hazards such as large rocks and large ice blocks that cannot be easily seen. Snow that is scattered back into traffic lanes especially on arterial streets becomes a priority removal, as they are emergency vehicle routes. Snowplows will leave collector and residential streets to service arterials. In the best interest of everyone's safety, it is recommended that motorists use the windrow openings instead of creating their own.
Hauling of Snow
After the storm has subsided and all snow routes have been serviced or as personnel and equipment become available, the crews will begin hauling the windrows. Snow will be hauled continuously around the clock, until all snow routes are cleared, unless a new snow event interrupts the process.
City plow/salt trucks are placed into service as snow haulers. While some trucks have the plow removed from the front, many retain their plows to assist with windrow and miscellaneous clearing duties. The center windrows are loosened from the pavement and tightened up to the center. A snow blower is used to load the snow into dump trucks. The dump trucks then haul the snow to designated dumping sites.