Ice & Snow Alerts
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