Each winter, the City Hall receives calls regarding the Public Works snow plowing operations. In preparation of the impending snow, we wanted to provide you with an overview of the City’s snow removal operations for 2014/15. Like you, we are hoping for a more mild winter this year because salt and snow removal are very expensive.
The Department of Public Works is made up of four full-time employees who are responsible for the snow removal. The operations work on a priority schedule which is adjusted according to current and pending weather conditions, the City’s salt supply, and available manpower.
Generally, the Department will complete the snow removal operations based on the following schedule:
Salt major streets and school zones
Plow major streets like Green Bay Road, Sheridan Road, Highwood Ave., Western Ave., and Prairie Ave.
Plowing of secondary streets, including but not limited to: Funston, High Street and Central.
Metra Stations and corresponding parking lots.
Snow removal from sidewalks in the downtown business district (the morning after).
Snow removal from sidewalks around schools.
If there is a large storm predicted, the crew will salt once and the wait until the snow has fallen to add another layer of salt.
Plowing often leaves a berm of snow across driveway entrances, although the City will try to keep berm creation to a minimum. Berm removal is the responsibility of the residents. The City does not clean out driveway berms with a loader after plowing. There are hundreds of driveways in Highwood and it would be very costly and time consuming, as well as slow the process of street snow removal. Additionally, there could be damage done to driveways and equipment attempting to do this.
According to City Code, relocating snow from driveways into the city streets is illegal and creates a hazard for drivers and a liability for the responsible party (a complete copy of the code section is included below). When clearing your driveway apron, it’s best to pile snow past the driveway in the direction of travel as depicted in the drawing “A smart way to shovel your drive”.
A common request related to this is asking that the driver turn or lift the plow blade at driveways. Since our main goal is to open the primary roads as soon as possible, lifting of blades at each driveway would slow down the snow removal operation significantly and leave snow in the road that may in turn be a hazard. Following these tips will help you and the city remove snow in a more efficient manner. If you have any questions regarding this information, please feel free to contact City Hall at 847-432-1924.