Ice & Snow Alerts
Feb. 13, 2020, 7 a.m.: The City of Columbia Public Works day shift reported at 7 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 13, to continue responding to road conditions. As winter weather can be unpredictable, residents are encouraged to closely monitor the forecast throughout the mid-Missouri area and to drive with winter weather awareness.
Feb. 12, 2020, 7 p.m.: City of Columbia Public Works plow crews reported at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12, to maintain continuous operations on Designated Snow Routes, also referred to as Priority Routes. Public Works and City staff will continue to closely monitor changing road and weather conditions to adjust operational plans as needed. Motorists are advised to drive with extreme winter weather caution overnight and in the morning as refreeze and slickness are possible. Temperatures below 20 degrees can reduce the effectiveness of road treatments. Winter weather can be unpredictable, so residents are encouraged to closely monitor weather reports and adjust travel plans accordingly.
Feb. 11, 2020, 4:30 p.m.: City of Columbia Public Works plow crews are scheduled to report at 6 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12, to continue to prepare for forecast snow. Crews pretreated bridges, curves, intersections and hills on priority routes today, Tuesday, Feb. 11. The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for mid-Missouri with the possibility of 3-5 inches of snow beginning at approximately 9 a.m. and continuing through the evening commute. Public Works and City staff will continue to closely monitor road conditions and adjust operational plans as needed. As winter weather can be unpredictable, residents are encouraged to closely monitor the forecast and changing road conditions throughout the mid-Missouri area. Motorists are advised to drive with caution.
Winter Weather Policies and Procedures
It is the City’s goal that all streets in Columbia be passable by a front-wheel drive vehicle as soon as possible when a winter weather event occurs. Approximately 520 lane miles of priority routes are plowed and treated 24 hours per day as needed during a winter weather event. Other streets are plowed and treated to a passable condition during business hours. When snow accumulates to 4 inches, though, all City streets are plowed and treated to a passable condition 24/7, once priority routes are near normal.
The City of Columbia has more than 1,350 lane miles of streets including 1,100 cul-de-sacs maintained by City of Columbia Public Works. The high number of cul-de-sacs and lane miles makes it necessary to prioritize roads during ice and snow events. Streets are prioritized by volume of traffic and to create a network of streets that connect neighborhoods to/from major roads, hospitals, schools, fire stations and commercial areas. These designated snow routes must be plowed/treated to a near normal condition. Winter weather events in Missouri can vary dramatically from one snow to the next, but generally speaking a typical response occurs in phases:
- Treat/Pretreat bridges, curves, hills and intersections on priority routes.
- Continuous operations on priority routes until near normal conditions are reached.
- Once priority routes are near normal, ensure all streets are passable by a front-wheel-drive vehicle to facilitate access to the priority routes. (When snow is less than 4 inches, this is done during business hours. When snow is more than 4 inches, this is done continuously in shifts.)
Whenever snow accumulates more than 2 inches, any vehicle parked on a designated snow route must be moved off of the roadway or risk a fine of $100 plus towing and storage charges. The purpose of this rule isn’t to collect fines, though. (We’d prefer not to tow a single vehicle.) This critical ordinance allows plow drivers the space needed to do their work more quickly, efficiently and safely for everyone. To be notified when it snows 2 inches or more, please sign up for alerts at Nixle.com or by texting COLUMBIAPW to 888-777.
- Winter Weather Hub – Quick links to the resources you need
- What is a passable road?
- What are Priority Routes?
- Council Snow Memo – Nov. 4, 2019
Call: 573.874.(CITY) 2489 / Email: PubW@CoMo.gov