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Posted on: December 6, 2018

Snow Removal Preparation and Procedures

Snow Removal Preparation and Procedures

Radford, Va.- Winter Storm “Diego” is expected to bring significant snowfall to our region and Radford City Officials have already begun preparations for the storm, but with every significant snowfall event snow removal becomes complex.  To help citizens better understand the snow removal process, we have put together answers to frequently asked questions.

How does Radford decide what roads to clear first?

Once the storm hits, snow removal crews work around the clock to clear city roads and make them passable for safe travel.  In any winter storm, crews’ first priority is to clear the roads that have the most traffic, or primary roads.  An example of a primary road in Radford is East and West Main Street.  Major secondary roads with vital emergency and public facilities or those with high traffic volumes, are also plowed during this time.  During this phase of snow removal crews are working to clear a path wide enough for traffic to move through.  Snow emergency routes are also among the top priorities.  Once the snow has stopped and main roads are clear, residential streets and neighborhoods will be plowed.  After every street has had a path created, crews will go back through to all streets to widen the road. 

Why do plows block my driveway with snow when they clear the road?

To make as many roads passable as quickly as possible, there is no way to avoid this practice.  We are sorry for this inconvenience.  Plow operators push snow off the roadway in smooth, continuous passes and the angle on the plow allows for wider streets, but the snow must be moved to the sides of the road.  The snow ends up in gutters and on road shoulders, sometimes blocking driveways.  To avoid double work, shovel snow from your driveway after the snow plow has been by and shovel the snow the right of your driveway, as you face the road. 

Why doesn’t Radford put salt on the roads before it snows?

Putting salt on roads before it snows wastes time and money since the salt can blow off the pavement.  Salt is most effective after the snow has accumulated about an inch and the temperature is 27 degrees or higher.  This allows the snow and salt to mix together, melting the snow into a slush that can be plowed off the pavement. 

Who is responsible for clearing my sidewalk?

You or your property owner is responsible for clearing the sidewalk surrounding your property. 

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