Driving in a Winter Wonderland

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With temperatures cooling down across the Front Range, cooler weather brings a reminder that winter and snow season are headed our way. With snowfall averaging 42 inches a year in Colorado Springs, City snow crews are already hard at work preparing to serve you.

Our snow control fleet has 48 snowplows, and they will be assigned a “full call-out” for any major storm, which is considered 12+ inches of snow along with prolonged freezing temperatures. When snow is predicted, anti-icing material – liquid magnesium chloride – is applied to main streets before snow starts falling. This helps prevent snow from bonding to pavement, giving crews less material to plow as the storm progresses. It also helps the streets stay clearer for longer.

During any major snowstorm, our first priority is always to clear major arterial roadways. We must ensure that emergency vehicles, school buses, and first responders have the best opportunity to safely arrive at their destinations. Once snow has stopped, and in areas where snowfall has accumulated over 6 inches, we will then send plows to residential areas for snow removal and application of anti-skid material as time and resources allow.

For any 24-hour snow shift, we will rely on a City staff force of about 90 people to handle the storm and keep our city moving. Please remember to leave room for our plows when you see them on the road! Crews typically work 12-hour shifts and sharing the roadway with these huge machines will allow for smoother and safer operations for everyone involved.

Find more information about plowing operations at ColoradoSprings.gov/snow.

In addition to plowing, Public Works also sees an uptick in reported potholes during the colder months. This is the result of moisture seeping into the cracks in the surface of a road and freezing, causing expansion and a pothole. We fill potholes year-round, so please let us know when you see them by calling 719-385-ROAD or reporting via the GoCOS! mobile app.

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