Snow Removal and Plowing
Snow Removal and Plowing
The City is divided into defined plowing routes. Within each route, priorities have been established that take into consideration topography, traffic volumes, and usage. For instance, more heavily traveled roads and roads adjacent to schools are given priority. Plows first clear the center of the roadway; subsequent passes by the plow move the snow onto the boulevard / easement. In cul-de-sacs, snow is piled either into the middle or at a predetermined spot within the cul-de-sac. Snow stored in cul-de-sacs is removed as time allows. The City uses salt and other de-icers when there is hazardous ice or other slippery conditions; however, due to environmental concerns, use of these products is limited.
How Residents Can Help
In the case of a snow event, maintenance crews take care of clearing 116 miles of streets. To ensure an efficient and timely snow removal process, there are several things residents can do to help:
- Follow the winter parking rules: No on-street parkin is permitted from 12 AM to 5 AM, or anytime after two inches (2) of snow or more until streets have been plowed.
- Be patient. Plowing the entire City takes time.
- Be prepared for winter driving and possible delays due to the weather.
- Keep children away from curbs and boulevards when snowplows are out.
- Keep fire hydrants clear of snow.
- Don't push, shovel, blow, sweep, or plow snow onto a City street at any time.
- When sharing the road with snowplows, give them room to work and don't pass a snowplow.
- Place your garbage and recycling containers behind the curb line on collection day.
To ensure mail delivery, please clear snow away from the front of your mailbox. Properly installed mailboxes accidentally toppled by the blade of a snow plow will be replaced by City crews as soon as time allows. If preferred, a new mailbox can be provided to the property owner to install.
- At what point and at what time do snowplowing operations begin?
When two or more inches of snow have accumulated, snow and ice control operations move from salting to plowing the snow to the sides of the street. In most cases, plowing operations begin between 12 AM and 4 AM; the exact time depends on the predicted start of the snowstorm, intensity of the snowfall, and when the snowfall is expected to end.
- Does the City plow all roadways located in Oakdale?
No. The City is responsible for most roadways, but does not plow Washington County roads, Minnesota State Highways, or private roads.
- Why do some streets get plowed sooner than others?
The City is divided into seven individual areas, each of which are arterial or collector streets. These streets are plowed first. Residential streets and cul-de-sacs are usually last to get plowed, since it is anticipated that by plowing collectors and arterials first, motorists will only have two or three blocks to travel before they arrive at a plowed street.
View Oakdale's snow plow routes map (PDF)
- What is the priority for plowing the City’s sidewalks, trails and ice rinks?
Although all are important, the first priority is removal of snow from the City’s street system. As a result, a majority of the City’s resources are committed to this activity. At the same time, however, minimum resources are directed to the removal of snow from sidewalks, trails and ice rinks. Since the amount of personnel and equipment working on these is much smaller, it takes more time to complete the snow removal operation.
View Oakdale's trail plow routes map (PDF)
- Why do residents living on cul-de-sacs seem to get more snow than others?
Plowing snow in cul-de-sacs is difficult because of the way driveways are situated. As much as possible, plow drivers try to plow snow away from driveways and deposit it in the center or open areas.
- Why does the snowplow come back and fill in my driveway after I’ve already cleaned it?
During heavy snowfalls, snowplowing is accomplished in three separate operations:
- The first pass is intended to provide an initial access path.
- Full-width widening can occur several hours later after all streets have received a first pass.
- Final cleanup occurs the next day and provides for intersection cleanup, salting, and plowing where “vehicles” were parked.
Homeowners are responsible for clearing out their own driveways.
- Does the City plow out fire hydrants?
No, with more than 500 fire hydrants in the city, it’s impossible to remove snow from around all of them. Residents are asked to “adopt” a hydrant and clear the snow away from it to keep it accessible in case of a fire.
- Does the City plow around recycling containers and garbage cans?
Unfortunately, plow drivers can’t plow around or set up containers that are knocked over. Residents are requested to set out recycling containers and garbage cans on the driveway behind the street curb line.
- Does the City repair mailboxes that are damaged?
Properly installed mailboxes that are accidentally toppled by the blade of a snowplow will be replaced by City crews as soon as time and weather allow. The City will not repair mailboxes damaged by the force of snow coming off the plow. Please report damage by calling 651-730-2740.
- Does the City repair damage that occurs near the edge of the street?
The City will repair grass damage that results from its snowplows, but does not repair sprinklers, fences or any private improvements installed in the right-of-way. Mailboxes that are physically hit by City snowplows will be repaired but will not repair mailboxes damaged by the force of snow coming off the plow.
Damage to mailboxes, sprinklers and other private improvements within the right-of-way will be assessed by the Street Superintendent to determine if the City is responsible for restoration.
Residents can report these types of damage to the Oakdale Public Works department at 651-730-2740. Please note, grass repairs are usually made in May and June through the use of topsoil and seed. The City will provide sod to property owners who want to do their own repairs.
- Can I push my excess snow into or across the street?
No. City ordinance and state statutes require that snow be placed on the right-of-way adjacent to the closest property.