Winter weather is still in the forecast and city officials in Claremore are hoping a newly adopted “snow plan” will keep them one step ahead.
“We worked very hard during the last weather event and I am proud of our effort. However, we can always improve,” City Manager Troy Powell said in the plan release.
The snow plan establishes a formal approach for handling major weather events that impact travel on major roadways and residential streets.
The Snow Removal and Ice Control Plan, adopted for use by the Public Infrastructure Department, serves as a policy and procedure manual establishing crew schedules, proper use of equipment and materials and route priorities.
The policy states, “During snow and ice control operations, all other operations of the Public Infrastructure Department, except for emergency response, shall become secondary.”
Daryl Golbek, director of public infrastructure, will be responsible for monitoring weather reports and will work with city police officers for local road condition reports. Should weather conditions warrant, Infrastructure Department personnel shall be divided into three crews during snow and ice events providing round-the-clock attention to keeping roadways clear.
The decision as to which roadways and when these roadways are to be treated and or plowed will now be decided by a “priority rating system.
Golbek said state highways which also serve as the city’s major arterial streets will be monitored by city personnel and maintained as a Priority 1 area. Assisting with that effort will be the Oklahoma State Highway Division ( ODOT ) personnel who are primarily responsible for Highways 66, 20, and 88 within the city limits.
The second priority will be “minor arterials like Cherokee and Florence streets,” said Golbek.
Residential streets are third priority.
Priority ratings have been determined to ensure roadways most crucial to commuter and business mobility are clear of snow and ice.
Police states, “Priority one areas are to be completely cleared before work begins on priority two areas.
Priority two areas are to be completely cleared before work begins on priority three areas, etc. This means that if an accumulation begins to form on areas of higher priority while crews are working in areas of lesser priority, crews shall return to the areas of higher priority.”
Removal of snowplow debris/windrows out of front of driveway surfaces will not be addressed until the top priorities have been completely cleared.
The only exception will be in the case of a medical emergency.
Prior to the an actual storm, the division head will notify personnel of an alert status.
While on alert status, equipment shall be staged and ready to respond. Once snow and ice begins to accumulate, the appropriate crew shall be assembled and deployed.
Powell said issues that came to the surface during the last storm led the department to address not only policy needs, but also equipment and street treatment supplies.
The materials to be used on the roadways are limestone screenings and salt.
Public Infrastructure Department will, in the coming year, conduct specific inspections of all snow and ice equipment to ensure reliability and performance as early as October. Crews will be trained to load and use equipment.
The Public Infrastructure Department operates four combination snowplow sand/salt spreader trucks. Methods, equipment and materials used will depend on weather conditions.
Decisions regarding snow and ice control spreading and plowing methods will be based on the amount of snow and/or ice accumulation and the amount of sand/salt mixture needed to address safety and mobility concerns. For example, if less than two inches of snow and ice accumulate on roadway. Sand/ salt shall be applied to assist with traction; If two or more inches of snowfall collect on roadways, plowing shall be used to remove the accumulation. Sand/ salt shall be applied once roadways are cleared; If snowfall accumulations exceed six inches, snowplows shall attempt to maintain one lane in each direction. Snowplows may work in tandem to achieve maximum efficiency. Sand/ salt shall be applied once roadways are cleared; If snowfall is combined with moisture, or there is ice beneath the snowfall, sand/salt shall be applied after the accumulation has been removed from the roadway; Applications of sand/salt shall be applied to bridges, intersections, hills and other specified areas as early as possible.
Specific guidelines have been put in place for dealing with intersections, railroad crossings and hills.