Snow and Ice
When it snows, Public Works is responsible for plowing and sanding City streets. Arterial and collector streets and hills (i.e. Dubarko Road, Tupper Road, Bluff Road, Meinig Avenue, Cascadia Village Dr., 362nd and Bornstedt inside the City Limits, etc.) are plowed and sanded first, with steep residential streets (Marcy Street, Gerilyn Court, Orr Circle, Chase Court, etc.) taken care of next. Residential streets are not plowed or sanded unless the snowfall is significant (6" or greater with more snow expected).
Plowing is not effective on small snow accumulations (less than 2" or 3"). Urban streets have many features (manhole covers, drain grates, water valve boxes, utility vaults, etc.) that can be destroyed by steel plow edges. Plows are kept up above the pavement by 1/2" to 3/4" using steel skids to prevent hitting these items. We use polyurethane plow edges that are more forgiving but still leave a thin layer of snow on the pavement.
The City uses liquid magnesium chloride to prevent ice formation on wet streets. This material works best when streets are still wet after the rain stops and cold dry weather follows. It tends to wash off or get diluted if applied when streets are too wet or if more rain is expected. This material is not really a "de-icer" it is not effective on top of packed snow or when we get freezing rain - in these cases fine gravel is used for friction and traction.
It is easy to see if this material has been applied to a street - narrow parallel rows of dark 'stripes' can be seen across the width of the lane or if a hard frost has occurred the treated portion of the street will be dark colored and the untreated portion (for example bike or turn lanes) will be coated with frost.
These maps show the areas treated for ice-prevention (liquid mag chloride) and winter maintenance (plow and sand).
The Oregon Dept. of Tramsportation is responsible for Highway 26 (including Proctor and Pioneer Boulevards) and Hwy 211. Clackamas County is responsible for County roads inside the City (Kelso and Ten Eyck Roads) and roads outside the City (in rural areas).