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Thursday, November 17, 2022

There's ‘Snow’ Place Like Home: How Westminster’s Snow Removal Team Keeps Roadways Safe for Residents

There's ‘Snow’ Place Like Home: How Westminster’s Snow Removal Team Keeps Roadways Safe for Residents

 

The first measurable snowfall in Westminster may be hard to predict, but City staff is well prepared for whenever the flakes start to fly!

Westminster’s Public Works and Utilities Department (PWU) is tasked with plowing over 1,100 lane miles of road and keeping residents safe during winter storms. The City prioritizes snow removal based on the severity and timing of the snow to ensure main roads are open and accessible for emergency services. 

Westminster’s priority during any snowstorm is keeping primary and secondary streets open and safe for the public. In addition, priority is given to streets adjacent to hospitals, police and fire stations, schools, RTD bus routes, and busy intersections, hills and curves on residential streets. Please remember that residential streets only receive service if snow accumulations are greater than eight inches and after the above priorities are addressed. 

The City partners closely with the Colorado Department of Transportation to ensure roads are plowed promptly. While CDOT plows the region’s state highways such as US 36, Federal Boulevard, 120th Avenue, and Wadsworth Parkway, the City handles its main roads within city limits such as 104th Avenue, Lowell Boulevard, and Church Ranch Boulevard. Plowing Sheridan Boulevard is a combined effort with designated areas for the City and CDOT.

“Our primary objective when we deploy our snow removal team is to improve driving conditions during inclement weather, not to remove all snow and ice from the road surface,” said Kurt Muehlemeyer, street operations manager. “Drivers still need to be prepared for snowy, icy, and slushy conditions, have a working vehicle with proper tire tread, drive defensively and most importantly slow down. Also, please give our snowplows room to operate and be patient as they plow and de-ice the roadway.”

When a storm rolls into Westminster, it’s not just PWU that jumps into action. Many other City staff members put their usual work on hold to sit behind the wheel of a snowplow. In addition to city streets, there are also trails, sidewalks and City facilities that require special attention to ensure residents can safely access services and amenities. To get the job done, more than 60 people from the City’s parks and open space team, including staff from Standley Lake and even golf course personnel, are called in to help during snow events. They focus on clearing parking lots and sidewalks at all recreation centers, Irving Street Library, fire stations, and City Hall. Once those areas are cleared, the focus shifts to removing snow from City-maintained sidewalks and dozens of miles of trails. 

For information on snow removal operations including an interactive map of routes, click here

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