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St. Charles County Connection e-Newsletter Articles

Posted on: December 1, 2022

Know Before Snow: Highway Department Strategy for Snow and Ice Removal

Snow plow clearing road

The St. Charles County Highway Department plows approximately 1,400 lane miles of County roads and another 400 lane miles of roads for the cities of Cottleville, Dardenne Prairie, Flint Hill, Foristell, Josephville, Portage Des Sioux, St. Paul, Weldon Spring and West Alton. The roads are divided into 36 designated routes spread across our four maintenance districts. Crews work day and night in 12-hour shifts, as necessary, to clear the roads. 

Currently, our maintenance division is nearly 30 percent understaffed. It will take longer than what residents are accustomed to clear streets during larger snow/ice events. We plan to address the staffing shortage in a number of ways to provide the most effective service for our residents.

Here’s how:

  1. As we have in the past, the department will use staff from other highway divisions for snow plowing duties.
  2. Employees will be assigned evenly across the maintenance districts to ensure even route coverage across the county.
  3. For short-duration snow/ice events requiring no more than two shifts, one shift will be fully staffed according to the timing and intensity of the weather so our crews can make the greatest impact.
  4. Cul-de-sacs will be plowed to make a passable path around the perimeter, but during events when there is two inches or less of snow they will not be cleared completely.
  5. For long-duration snow/ice events requiring more than two shifts:
    1. Night and day shifts will be staffed evenly and unstaffed routes will be divided among drivers.
    2. Arterial and collector roads will be given preference and maintained as passable. Crews will work to keep one path in each direction clear. This means not all lanes of multi-lane roads may be clear. Once made passable, plow trucks will be diverted to subdivision and side streets.
    3. While precipitation is still falling, the priority is to make streets passable. Once precipitation has ended, crews will continue to clear routes curb to curb starting with arterial and collector streets.

We ask residents to be patient and do their part to allow the County Highway Department to effectively and safely complete its mission. Please do not park on streets when winter weather is forecast. Please stay home or delay travel outside of rush hours, if possible.

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