News Flash

News Flash

Posted on: November 6, 2019

Preparing Staff and Equipment for Snow Operations

Snow Operation Vehicle PrepWith winter on the horizon, the Elk River Public Works Department has been busy preparing both staff and the city’s fleet of machines, which are necessary for successful snow and ice removal operations.

Staff Training:

  • Each operator has conducted Level 1 Road Salt Training which includes proper chemical application techniques, equipment operation, weather impacts relating to chemical activity, industry best management practices, city policies and procedures, and the negative impacts of salt use on the environment.
  • This training culminates with an all staff meeting in which operators are assigned their equipment and routes, and are updated on any changes from previous practices.
  • Operators are assigned the same route and piece of equipment for the entirety of the season. Prior to snow, operators are responsible for taking their assigned machine and driving their route several times to familiarize themselves with the route they’ll be accountable for.
  • During these pre-season familiarization drives, operators mark areas for snow storage along right-of-ways, mark curves in the roads, stormwater catch basins, utility boxes and fire hydrants, and identify any hazards they’ll want to stay alert to once the roads are blanketed in snow.
  • Operators also use this time to test their equipment to ensure full functionality and calibrate tools including sand/salt augers, road and air temperature sensors, and pre-wetting equipment.

Equipment Prep:

  • Each operator conducts a detailed inspection of their assigned piece of equipment, including the plow, attachments, sand/salt spreader, emergency warning lights, and plow controls.
  • Any deficiencies in equipment are noted and repairs are made by one of the city’s three mechanics.

If the city declares a Snow Event, overnight parking on city streets and in city-owned parking lots is prohibited from 2:00 to 6:00 a.m. There are two designated areas downtown which allow overnight parking during a Snow Event. Visit ElkRiverMN.gov/SnowEvent to learn more about when a Snow Event is declared, how the public is notified, and what that means to residents.

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