The City of Saginaw strives to make roadways as safe as possible in all winter weather conditions. The City of Saginaw is responsible for snow removal on approximately 300 lane miles of roadway within the City limits. Residents can help get the roads plowed faster and more effectively during each winter snow event by moving parked vehicles off the street whenever higher snowfall totals are predicted. This allows city snowplows to clear the street from curb to curb, making the streets wider and easier to maneuver in the snow. Snowplow operators push snow off roadways in smooth, continuous passes. Vehicles left on the street also run the risk of being heavily covered with snow as the snowplows move through an area and snow is cleared off the street and pushed closer to the curbline.
Phil Karwat, Director of Public Works, commented on the importance of these reminders, “Basically, the goal is to make the streets safe and drivable as quickly as we can. We can only do this with the assistance of our residents and business owners. When vehicles are left in the street, this narrows the room for the snowplows to operate and clear the snow. If we get the snowfall amounts predicted for this weekend, it is going to be very difficult for our snowplows to maneuver around vehicles parked in roadways and almost impossible for owners to get to any vehicle left in the street once our plows start pushing the snow towards the curbs.”
The Public Works Department reminds residents to exercise patience and caution during snowy weather. Stay off the roads if possible. Be vigilant and allow extra travel time when on the road. When approaching plows, slow down, stay back, and never try to weave between adjacent plow trucks.
The process of snow removal can take several days during major winter storms. The City plows top priority and high-volume roadways first, followed by minor arterials, streets designated as school routes, and STARS bus routes. Once conditions have been stabilized on Priority I and II routes, crews will begin to clear local streets. In the event of continual snowfall, it may take longer than normal for plows to reach local streets, as Priority I and II routes will require additional attention.
Phil Karwat commented on the city’s snow removal policy, “Each snow event is unique. The forecasted weather will have an impact on the decision to start or stop any winter maintenance operation. In order to remove snow properly, it takes two trucks per lane, meaning these plow trucks will probably travel more than 1,300 miles during a major snow event. The City will run 24-hour coverage, with two crews working 12-hour shifts throughout the day and night, to perform winter maintenance on our streets and bridges. City residents can be assured that once the snow starts falling, City of Saginaw crews will work around the clock until all the roads are safe and drivable.”