Ice & Snow Alerts

 Updates: No Winter Response Operations currently in effect. Extended Forecast Update: Chances of snow this week seem to be fading fast. But PW engineers are keeping an eye on it.

Snowplow drivers group shot  snowplow driver Gerod CrumSnow Fighting Award 2017                           

 Winter Weather Policies and Procedures

It is our goal that all streets in Columbia are passable by a front-wheel drive vehicle as soon as possible. 

The City of Columbia has more than 1,350 lane miles of streets including 1,100 cul-de-sacs maintained by Public Works. The sheer volume of cul-de-sacs and lane miles makes it necessary to prioritize roads during ice and snow events.         

There are 470 lane miles of designated snow routes, or priority routes, in Columbia. These priority routes create a network of major roads and residential streets extending throughout the city. The primary purpose of these high-volume roads is to ensure safe passageway to highways, hospitals, schools, fire stations and commercial areas.  

Every event is not exactly the same, but generally speaking a typical response occurs in phases:     

  • Treat bridges, curves, hills and intersections as needed;
  • Clear priority routes to “near normal” condition.
  • Ensure all other City streets are “passable” by a front-wheel-drive vehicle to facilitate access to priority routes.
  • Respond to any reports received by the City Contact Center concerning passable roads.               

 Priority routes are plowed and treated 24 hours per day as needed during a winter weather event; other routes are plowed and treated to a passable condition during normal business hours. When snow reaches 4 inches, all of the City’s 1,350 lane miles are plowed and treated to a passable condition 24/7 once priority routes are near normal.  

There is no parking allowed on priority routes when snow accumulates 2 inches or more. Parking Utility staff do their best to warn drivers, but vehicles will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense if they are not moved. To be reminded of when it’s time to move cars off of priority routes, sign up for alerts at Nixle.com or by texting the phrase COLUMBIAPW to 888-777.