Highway Department:

Highway Department

Snow Plowing Policies

One of the maintenance responsibilities is snow removal. While every highway authority provides snow removal in some form, they all provide a very different level of services depending on who the authority is. This variation in level of services is due to the availability of resources, or lack thereof. For example, the State has enough resources to run snow plows 24 hours a day, if necessary, by using temporary employees. On the other hand, the county has a far more limited number of maintenance employees, making a 24-hour per day snow removal operation impossible under the current limitations. Townships often have even fewer resources than the county, which limits their operations as well.

In order to minimize overtime expenditures the county tries to perform snow-plowing operations during normal business hours (7:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.) However, there are times when that is not feasible without compromising the safety of the public. When work outside normal business hours is required, the county uses the following general guidelines:

As a general rule, the county makes every attempt to keep all the county roads passable during the time when a majority of the public will be traveling to or from work (7:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M.), Monday through Friday. If through the night there is substantial snowfall or if wind causes substantial drifting of snow, plowing operations will begin usually around 4:00 A.M. so that at least one round can be completed on all roads. On weekends starting times may be a little later in the morning.

If snowfall is minimal or has quit completely and drifting is not significant, snow-plowing operations will stop by 3:30 P.M. If however, there is significant snowfall or drifting anticipated the county will generally stay on the roads until 5:00 or 6:00 P.M. The county may stay out until as late at 8:00 P.M. or so, although this is rare. The maintenance worker that is out until 8:00 P.M. is the same one that will be out the following morning at 4:00 A.M. Driving a snowplow truck, especially while it is dark and when there is little visibility, is a very exhausting job and rest for the driver is very important for the safety of the worker as well as for the general public. Rarely will the county ever be out between 8:00 P.M. and 4:00 A.M. For this reason, we suggest that traveling during this time period be kept to an absolute minimum during inclement roadway conditions.

Ice Control:
In addition to the removal of snow using plow trucks, the county also actively applies ice control materials to prevent the formation of ice on the road or to remove ice that has already formed. Currently the county uses a mixture of salt, and sand. The salt melts and/or prevents ice or snow on the road. The sand provides an abrasive for better traction with the road surface. It is important to note that salt does not work at extremely low temperatures and there are times in which ice may be on the road where we do not apply salt for this very reason. Also, if high winds are present, often times ice control materials are not applied. When the wind is blowing hard and the temperature is cold enough, snow will often times blow across the road rather than build up on the road. If ice control materials are on the road they tend to catch the snow and start the process of drifting.

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John Massa  - County Engineer
Rock Island County Highway Department (map ExternalLink.gif)
851 10th Avenue West - P.O. Box 797, Milan Illinois 61264

Phone: (309) 787-4668      Fax: (309) 787-4680     Email: [email protected]
Hours: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM - Monday thru Friday
For Comments: [email protected]
After hours, weekends and holidays: County Radio-Sheriff's Department: (309) 794-9111