Snow Removal Policy

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During snow and ice conditions, many people call requesting for snow removal or ice-sanding. The following is a brief summary of our policy:

Depending on how wide spread and intense the storms are, it may seem like a considerable delay before our limited resources reach all of the affected County-maintained roads. Private roads are not sanded or plowed by our crews who only do the County-Maintained System.

Heaviest traveled roads will be first priority. Side roads are next, with dead end or cul de sac roads last. It does no good to open up minor roads before the major roads. The County does not remove snow from driveways. In fact, county plows may leave a berm of snow at the driveway encroachment onto the County road. These berms of snow are the responsibility of the driveway owner to remove. Sanding normally begins after snow is cleared, where icy conditions may occur.

Snow Removal Policy

Annual Road Closure due to SNOW Annual Snow Closure - [pdf]

The Department of Public Works keeps a list of county maintained roads. (see link on our 'Road Status and Conditions' page)

Snow removal and roadway sanding operations will be conducted only on county maintained roadways generally in accordance with the following priority ratings:

Route Type/Traffic Type Priority Rating
Arterials (links towns and communities to State Highways 1
Major Collectors 1
*Minor Collectors and School Bus Routes 2
*Local County Roads serving access to other County Roads 3
Local County Roads not listed above, i.e. side roads and cul-de-sacs 4
County Roads "Not Winter Maintained" (prior to Memorial Day, depending on snow depth) and driveway berms 5

*Each maintenance area has situations unique to its area and sometimes we have to modify the priority rating or their sequence to be more efficient in winter maintenance operations.

During a storm event most maintenance crews work concurrently on Priority #1 and #2 roads and, in some instances, Priority #3 roads in their respective areas.

Priority #1 Roads
These roads will be given the greatest and soonest attention. County crews are allowed to work overtime to keep these roads open.

Priority #2 Roads
County crews are authorized to work overtime to keep these roads open.

Priority #3 Roads
During continued storm events, Priority #1 and #2 roads will be maintained open, prior to proceeding on with Priority #3 roads. Overtime work may be authorized to open these roads. Consideration must be given to these roads during long-term storm events to prevent large snow accumulations.

Priority #4 Roads
These roads will not be plowed until all other roads are cleared, berms pushed back in preparation for additional storms, and drainages open. Driveways are the responsibility of the owner. Owners of driveways and privately-maintained roads need to provide their own snow removal. Private contractors are available for this. The Agency usually does not authorize overtime for these roads.

Priority #5 Roads
These roads will not be plowed during winter months.

What You Can Do                                                      Snow

  • Plan ahead, be prepared, and don't travel if you don't have to. Carry a survival kit consisting of blanket(s) or sleeping bag, water, and a flashlight in case of vehicle breakdown or becoming stuck in the snow.
  • Please caution your children not to play in the streets or on the snow berms as this can be very dangerous because drivers may not see them or be able to stop in time to avoid hitting them.
  • Make sure that your snow tires are in good condition. To be legal, SNOW TIRES must have a minimum of 6/32 inch (3/16") of tread. Your tires may be legal in dry conditions, but no longer qualify as snow tires.
  • Always carry chains.
  • If you are removing snow from your property and a county snowplow approaches, there is a strong possibility that you are not visible to the operator. Dark clothing, the hour of day and weather conditions inhibit visibility. Protect yourself from injury by giving the plow operator extra room to perform the task.

What You Should Not Do

  • Do not park vehicles or place garbage cans, trash, etc. on roadways or along the edge of roadways. Vehicles blocking snow removal operations may be towed away at owner's expense. Park a minimum of five (5) feet off the roadway on your property.
  • Do not clear your driveway until after your road has been plowed. This will reduce the amount of snow that the plow leaves as it passes your driveway.
  • Do not shovel or put snow from driveways into the roadway as this creates a hazard for other drivers, a liability for you, and is illegal.
  • Do not allow children and pets to play on roadways.
  • Snow plows make frequent stops and backup maneuvers, do not drive your car up behind a snow plow as the driver may be unable to see you and inadvertently back into your car. If you are behind a plow that stops, stop your vehicle in such a way that your car looks into the driver's outside rearview mirror, and please give them extra room.

Thank you for your cooperation, and let's have another safe winter. Please remember, we need your help.

Amador County Transportation and Public Works  

Phone: 223-6429
Fax: 223-6395

Note: This shall be noticed in the newspaper mid-November of each year.

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