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Snow and ice removal priorities on county roads

Ramsey County maintains nearly 850 lane miles of county roads, 142 bridges, 365 signal systems, sidewalks and tens of thousands of signs. Our Public Works staff work tirelessly with our partners to keep this extensive infrastructure well-maintained. 

Snow removal process

Snow and ice removal is prioritized into three phases. Depending on storm intensity, duration and other emergencies, snow removal beyond roads, pedestrian ramps and intersections may be delayed or suspended to provide the required resources needed for plowing roadways.

Phase one

Phase one is always emergency response and includes clearing our roadways of snow and ice from curb to curb (or pavement edge) - including on-street bike lanes - to ensure safe access for emergency vehicles, buses and other vehicles.

Phase two

Phase two includes several tasks to improve conditions for all transportation users:

  • Removing snow and ice from pedestrian ramps at intersections with traffic signals.
  • Improving driver sight lines at intersection corners.
  • Clearing bridge decks and hauling excess snow and ice from bridges and road surfaces.
  • Repairing or replacing damaged road signs.
  • When necessary, pushing snow further back into boulevard areas to increase storage space for the next snowfall.

Timing of these tasks depends upon employee availability, traffic volume and the severity of the storm.

Phase three

Phase three is non-emergency snow clean up and includes partnering with cities and other county departments. This includes removing snow from libraries, ice arenas and other county-owned buildings.

Help improve snow removal

You can help our plow drivers improve the quality and speed of snow and ice removal by keeping these guidelines in mind:

  1. Don't push snow from your driveway into the street, boulevard or shoulder. When shoveling or snow blowing, remember to move the snow into your yard. Piling snow in the street, boulevard or shoulder creates sight line and distance issues, which can create dangerous conditions.
  2. Make sure your trash and recycling containers are away from the curb and located in your driveway or yard. The arms of the collection truck will still be able to reach them if they're a few feet off the street.
  3. Avoid travel during heavy snowfall. If you must travel, slow down, drive safely and stay several car lengths back from plows.

Report issues

Please let us know if you notice safety issues with snow removal on a county-maintained road, including damaged signs or mailboxes.

Report a problem

Posted on Saturday, March 2, 2019 - 4:21 p.m.