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SNOW ROUTE INFORMATION

The City of Washington's Public Works Department is committed to keeping all roads within the city safe and navigable before, during, and after every winter event as an “Open Road” objective. This open road objective should not be confused with a “Bare Pavement” objective.  An open road objective provides that the street should be passable with only a reasonable amount of inconvenience, based upon the actual storm conditions, and should provide a safe driving surface, if reasonable driving caution is taken considering weather conditions.

The Department has seven (7) single axle five yard plow trucks to help maintain over 78 centerline miles of roadways, which include just under 3 miles of alleys and 76 miles of streets, some requiring up to 4 passes to clear both driving and parking lanes. Trucks are assigned to seven (7) routes with average round lengths of two to four hours depending on snow accumulation. SNOW ROUTE MAP. These routes are primary staffed by the Streets Department, but in the advent of extended events, the City will staff two (2) round the clock 12 hour shifts made up of members from all Public Works Departments (Streets, Distribution, Water and Sewer).

The City of Washington plows most of the streets within city limits, however there are a number of roads that are the responsibility of other government agencies:  US Route 24 (Boyd Parkway), Business Route 24 (Washington Rd. / Peoria St. / Walnut St. / Eureka Rd.) McCluggage Road and Illinois Route 8 (Washington Rd.) are IDOT’s and North Main Street (County Highway 3) beginning near Cruger Road is Tazewell County’s.

In addition to plowing, the City applies salt to help combat ice buildup.  We do not use abrasive agents or blended mixes of cinders, sand or chips due to the ultimate depositing of these as sediment in the storm sewers and detention basins. Salt is still one of the best products available for melting snow and ice, however it is most effective at temperatures 25°F or above.  Traffic also aids the melting process, which is why a less traveled street may remain slick and snow covered while roadways with higher traffic volumes are clear.  Regardless drivers are reminded that the lower the temperature the less effective salt becomes.

While the city maintains this strategy, it cannot guarantee results simply due to the uncertainty that each storm presents.  Snow accumulations of an inch per hour are extremely difficult to keep up with. Timing of the storm in unison with traffic rush hours, holidays, and daytime hours create additional tactical problems. The city will plow the practical full pavement width in order to maintain adequate road capacity for future storms. Plowing is performed as allowed by road geometry with the idea of dispersing equal amounts of snow to either side of a road. As a result, snow will almost certainly end up in driveways and could results homeowners clearing their driveways multiple times.

As always, the City and the Division of Public works appreciates the patience, understanding, and cooperation of its citizens during this process.
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