Overview: Snow Removal Process

Working to Keep Streets Clean
Blue Springs employs many of the best operators in the Midwest. The personnel who work within the Street Department are the first responders for snow emergencies. They are backed up by skilled personnel from the Utilities, Engineering, and Park Maintenance Departments who operate residential plows if more than two inches of snow accumulate on the roads.

All winter storms are different, and can be difficult to predict. The department consults and reviews weather reports from several different sources: NOAA, the local forecasters, Weather or Not, and other internet sites. Using the information available for each storm, a response plan is developed.
Pre-Treating Roads
Crews will occasionally pre-treat roads depending upon the storm predictions. Salt distribution typically begins as soon as the crews hit the streets and continues until all priority roads are completed or until it is no longer effective to salt. Traffic enhances the efficacy of the salt, so roads with more traffic clear more quickly than low volume roads. As a result some streets with lesser amounts of traffic may appear to have not been salted. When plowing begins, salting is limited to grades, intersections, and sharp curves until plowing is complete. After plowing is completed, salting operations begin again as needed. All roads are monitored for icy spots.

The Plowing Process
Crews begin to plow when there is about three-quarters to one inch of snow accumulated on the roadway. The priority streets are cleared by ranking. If the snow accumulation has exceeded two inches, crews begin work on the residential streets. If the snow fall continues for many hours, the main roads may need a reapplication of deicing chemicals. This extends the amount of time it takes to reach the residential streets. Cul-de-sacs will be plowed at the same time as other residential streets. Due to the circular design of these streets, it is often difficult to equally distribute the snow along the curb line.

Crews plow from curb to curb to clean the city streets anytime the snow depth is 4 inches or deeper, or if the forecast warrants clearing to the curb due to impending subsequent storms. Curb to curb plowing may take several return trips to your neighborhood depending upon the magnitude of the snow event and because of obstructions along the curb. If cars are parked on the street, our crews will try to remove as much snow as possible.

Keep in mind that it is almost impossible to keep snow from being deposited into your driveway during plowing, as the plow cannot be lifted or swiveled at each driveway it passes. Our crews work to keep the roads safe in the most efficient manner for each storm event.

Working Around the Clock
City of Blue Springs snow plow operators work diligently around the clock to keep motorists safe. No matter how careful operators are, snow and ice control operations may cause inconveniences to you.

Please Be Patient
Snow removal is a dangerous, stressful, and time-consuming job. Our crews work around the clock in extreme conditions to keep motorists safe and to ensure that police, fire, and EMS personnel can get to those who need assistance.

Help Us, Help You
Please move vehicles off the street whenever possible. Parked cars pose an obstruction to snow removal operations during the storm and then leave snow packed areas after they are moved.

Children love to make snow forts along the edge of the roads, but this is potentially very dangerous because our plow operators cannot see the children. Visibility is difficult even in the best conditions, so we ask that you please keep your children safe and away from the roads during snow removal!