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Snow and Ice Control

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Regional Winter Preparedness Guide 2008Download Winter Preparedness Guide (8mb)

The City of Reno provides safe roadway access in an environmentally sound manner during winter months.  Become familiar with the Snow & Ice Control Plan so you are aware of the procedures the City will take to keep the roads safe during adverse winter conditions (does not include roads maintained by Nevada Department of Transportation, Washoe County and the City of Sparks).

The City's street system contains approximately 2,244 lane miles.  It is divided into 19 snow and ice removal routes. The City's snow and ice-control material is primarily a mixture of salt and sand along with Ice Slicer which is used as a pre-treatment for grades and bridges to assist in keeping these areas open.

For Statewide Road Conditions visit Nevada Department of Transportation

To view routes that are not maintained by the City of Reno: Nevada Department of Transportation Washoe County City of Sparks

Salt Brine

As the 2014-15 winter season begins, the City of Reno began using a new method to treat streets for snow and ice. Prior to a snow or ice event, City crews apply salt brine to the Priority 1 streets, bridges and inclines. The brine consists of a clear solution of tap water and sodium chloride (road salt), mixed in concentrations of 24 percent salt, and has a freezing point of -6º F.  Salt brine is applied to the roadway to prevent snow from bonding to the streets, making it easier and safer to plow. Brine is up to 20 times more effective than salt and sand and is labor efficient since it is applied during normal operating hours prior to the arrival of the storm. 

Salt Brine FAQs.

Snow Plowing

Plowing operations typically begin when the snow depth reaches 4 or more inches on streets.  Snow plows may hit main street intersections before 4 inches of snow accumulation to address icy conditions with a sand and salt mixture. Most of the plowing occurs in the higher elevation routes and outlying areas due to the fact that these areas receive the most snow accumulation.

In what order will streets be plowed?
The City of Reno street system contains approximately 2,244 lane miles and is divided into nineteen routes. Priority is given to arterial and collector streets along with school zones.  Secondary streets are plowed after Priority streets as resources become available.

Priority 1 and 2 streets include major streets, collector streets, areas around schools, and emergency service sites (police stations, fire stations and hospitals).  Examples of Priority 1 streets include portions of Virginia Street, Longley Lane and Stead Boulevard.  Examples of Priority 2 streets include Center Street, Evans Avenue and Hunter Lake Drive. 

See our current list of priority streets by route or view the route maps below.

To better serve the community, the City of Reno and Washoe County agreed that the following roads would be plowed by the following agencies.  The decision was based on which agency already had snow removal operations in the immediate area.

Washoe County agreed to plow the following City of Reno streets:  Lemmon Drive, North Virginia Street north from Lemmon Drive to Stead Boulevard, Golden Valley Road, Plateau Road, Pembroke Drive, Bonde Lane, Panorama Drive, Wedge Parkway, Mayberry Drive, Arrowcreek Parkway and Verdi Road.

The City of Reno agreed to plow the following Washoe County roads: Old Virginia Street, Arrowcreek Parkway, Copperfield Drive, Spectrum Boulevard, Marthiam Avenue and Moraine Way. For more information, please read the snow operations FAQs.

Please contact Reno Direct at 334-INFO with any questions, comments and concerns.

What is the plowing procedure? 
Crew members will tandem plow and/or sand for traffic accessibility on priority streets until they have completed the priority. The drivers will then go into each of the nineteen routes and continue to plow the Priority 2 streets until all are cleared with one lane in and one lane out. When all Priority 2 streets are cleared with one lane in and one lane out then the drivers will go back and clear the rest of the street.  The streets will be plowed from the inside lane to curbside.  Each crew will continue plowing and/or sanding until the storm has ended and all first and second priority streets are cleared and safe.

After a storm, street sweepers will be sent out to remove all applied salt and sand materials as expeditiously and safely as weather and road conditions permit.  In order to comply with Federal air quality mandates, the City has 4 days after the end of a storm event to have all salt / sand materials removed from its streets.
 
In the event of a major storm, the City of Reno Streets Department can call on the Sewer Line Section, Facilities Maintenance Section and Fleet Maintenance for additional assistance. Contractors can also be hired to assist the City. 

 

Resources: The City of Reno has the equipment, drivers and crews to implement the Snow and Ice Plan.

Personnel: Maintenance & Operations has a total of 50 snow plow operators. As needed, crews are scheduled to work two 12-hour shifts for 24 hours/day service.

 

Equipment: 18 Ten cubic yard dump trucks fitted with plows and/or sand spreaders 1 Four cubic yard dump trucks fitted with plows and/or sand spreaders

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