Saturday, December 20, 2014

Snow & Ice Control Policy for City Streets

The purpose of this policy is to establish and maintain uniform definitions and procedures concerning snow and ice control operations at the City of Eagan. 


It is the goal of the City of Eagan Public Works Department to maintain City roadways during the snow and ice season to  to assure access for emergency services and provide access to the motoring public. 



The Transportation and Operations Engineer, or designated representative, will determine when to begin snow and ice control operations. 

In General: 

A.   Any combination of snow, freezing rain, sleet and/or wind conditions contributing to drifting may require ice control or plowing operations to begin, depending on their effects to city roadways. 
B.   Mainline plowing operations will occur upon the accumulation of approximately two or more inches of snow. 
C.   Cul-de-sacs will be plowed to the center whenever possible with the intention of bulk snow storage in this area. Exceptions will be defined by the Transportation and Operations Engineer, or designee, after identifying a special need or circumstance. 
D.   Full cul-de-sac plowing operations will usually begin approximately one to three hours after the mainline start time.  
E.    The primary effort will be the plowing of all streets and the application of salt/sand or other chemicals at major intersections, steep grades or other critical areas.  The secondary effort will be the application of sand/salt on lower volume roads. 
F.    Removal of stored snow from bridges, medians, and intersections will occur as soon as practical after snow and ice control operations are complete.  Normally, these efforts will occur during regular work hours. 
G.   All plow routes will be checked and re-plowed as needed during regular work days following mainline plowing efforts. 
H.   Additional plowing, scraping, winging back and/or application of chemicals or abrasives will occur as determined by the Engineer or designee.  Whenever possible, these additional operations will continue during normal work shifts until the ice and/or snow is removed from the traveled areas of City roadways. 
I.    Snow plowing and ice control on County roads is the responsibility of the Dakota County Transportation Department. State highways are the responsibility of the Minnesota Department of Transportation.  Frontage roads for Minnesota State highways and County roads are the City's responsibility.  The City may assist in snow and ice control operations on these other jurisdictional roadways under emergency or mutual aid conditions. 
J.    New subdivisions within the City of Eagan consisting of public right-of-way and streets to be ultimately transferred to the City for perpetual maintenance will be inspected by City personnel before October 15.  The following minimum conditions must be met by November 15 in order for the City to assume snow and ice control responsibilities on these roadways:

1.      All streets must have concrete curb and gutter with at least the first lift of bituminous surfacing completed.  
2.      All manhole and gate valve adjustments accessible and exposed at least 1/4" but no more than 3/4" below existing bituminous surface.3
3.     All permanent and/or temporary cul-de-sac constructed to City design dead-end streets must have a temporary 
4.      Boulevard areas must be graded to current city standards and clear of all construction material and debris.
5.     If only the first lift of bituminous surfacing has been paved, the transition from the first lift to any existing pavement or cross valley gutters must be ramped at all areas. 
6.      Hydrant flags must be installed. 
7.      Responsible parties must receive a written letter from the Public Works Department indicating the City will perform winter snow and ice control maintenance. 

Responsible parties who do not meet the November 15 deadline will be required to privately provide snow and ice control services to City standards.  If they fail to provide the City standard level of service at any time, the City reserves the option to contract with private services or may employ City forces on an overtime basis to perform required operations.  Costs will be recovered from the financial security provided by responsible parties for the subdivision/development.   

K.     During extraordinary snow and ice events, additional personnel and equipment may be utilized to supplement normal mainline and cul-de-sac operations.  During periods of extended continuous snowfall or freezing rain, operations may be performed on a limited scale and focused on arterial and collector transportation routes and emergency service delivery locations.    
L.      The City has classified City streets based on the street function, traffic volume, and importance to the welfare of the community.  Accordingly, snow and ice control routing is designed to provide the maximum possible coverage to higher volume safety sensitive areas first. 
M.     The Engineer or designee will provide an updated mainline and cul-de-sac snowplow route plan by November 1st each year.  Specific personnel and equipment or contractual services will be designated to each route to provide maximum efficiency.  Alternate equipment and personnel will also be part of the plan and the Engineer or designee will make every effort to cross-train city maintenance personnel wherever possible to assure competent personnel are available.
N.     The City recognizes that snowplow operators are exempt from traffic regulations set forth in Minnesota Statues, Chapter 169 while actually engaged in work on streets, except for regulations related to driving while impaired and the safety of school children.  Pursuant to this authority, snowplow operators engaged in snow removal or ice control on City streets have discretion to disregard traffic laws set forth in Chapter 169, except for laws relating to impaired driving and school children safety, when in their judgment, it is safe to disregard such laws.  The privileges granted herein to operators of snow removal and ice control vehicles shall apply only if the vehicle is equipped with at least one lighted lamp displaying a flashing, oscillating, or rotating amber light placed in such a position on the vehicle as to be visible throughout an arc of 360 degrees.


Roadside Considerations 

Snowplowing operations deposit snow off the traveled portion of the public right of way onto the adjacent boulevard and drainage easement areas.  The City will not be responsible for damage to any objects/amenities (fences, landscaping, etc.) located in these publicly dedicated areas.  Garbage awaiting pick-up should be set back four to eight feet behind the curbline.  Mailboxes should be as per attached City Standard Plate #610.  

A.      Snow plow operators make every effort to remove snow as close to the curbline as practical and to provide access to mailboxes for the Postal carrier.  However, it is not possible to provide perfect conditions and minimize damage to mailboxes with the size and type of equipment the City operates.  Therefore, the final cleaning adjacent to mailboxes is the responsibility of each resident. 
B.      The City replaces mailboxes that are damaged, broken or knocked down, but only if there was direct contact made by a City plow or City vehicle and provided the mailbox was installed and maintained to City and postal specifications. Those specifications require mailboxes be located at least 48" above the street level with the forward bottom corner of the mailbox located behind the back of the curb.  Residents/owners notified by the City via U.S. Mail about mailboxes that do not meet City specifications are responsible and liable to repair/replace/maintain them in the event they are damaged as a result of the City's Snow and Ice Control operations until such time that the mailbox has been brought into compliance with City Standards.  If a mailbox is deemed to have been in compliance with City Standards and is damaged by a direct hit by a City plow or City vehicle, the property owner may either choose to have the City replace the damaged mailbox with a City standard mailbox installation, or be reimbursed by the City for owner initiated repair/replacement at a cost not to exceed $50 for each support post/structure, $25 for each mailbox receptacle and $25 for each periodical/paper receptacles.
C.     Most of the mainline plowing vehicles are equipped with a front plow and side wing for two-pass plowing of most residential streets.  Plows are angled to the right for plowing from the centerline of the street toward the outside edge of the street.  A certain amount of snow will be deposited into driveways abutting curb lines.  The City will not remove snow from driveway entrances regardless of whether it has been cleared of snow before the City vehicle arrives. The City does not plow private streets, accesses or driveways. 
D.     Some sidewalks and trails are plowed by the City. Refer to the most current  “Sidewalk/Trailway Winter Maintenance Program & Policy.” (Sample Attached) 
E.   The City will repair turf damage only on boulevards which was the direct result of plowing beyond the back of the curb.  Turf repair will consist of placing black dirt and seed.  All other damage within the public rights-of-way or drainage easements or to items installed in these areas without a City permit is the property owner's responsibility (i.e., shrubs, bushes, rocks, trees, irrigation systems, driveways, fences, etc.). 


Parking Regulations, City Codes and State Laws 

To help provide a safer and more efficient snow removal operation, the City Council has established parking regulations which are in effect from November 15 to April 15 of each year.

A.   Based on an odd/even address/day system, the restriction is in effect from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day.  Parking is allowed only on the odd numbered side of the street on odd numbered calendar days, and only on the even numbered side of the street on even numbered calendar days.  Parking is allowed on both sides of the street from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., any posted parking restrictions take precedent over this Odd/Even winter seasonal regulation.  Vehicles not in compliance with this new parking regulation may be ticketed and/or towed. 
B.   Placing of snow in the street or plowing across the street is prohibited by State law and City code.  Snow placed in the street or on sidewalks and trails compounds maintenance problems and creates hazards for others.  


For further information on Parking Regulations, please refer to Municipal Code Chapters 7, 9, 10 and 11.