City Snow Removal

When the weather gets bad, we remain on call and prepared.

During each snow event, our crew plows approximately 262 miles of roads throughout Columbus. We have 28 vehicles in our fleet, which are equipped with heavy-duty plows and salt spreaders. Each of our drivers are highly skilled, and trained annually on plowing techniques and safety.

Preparing for a Snow Event

Prior to a snowstorm, DPW crews utilize a salt and water solution known as “brine” to pre-treat the roads. White stripes streaking the pavement are the recognizable signs of brine application. When the first snow starts to fall, the salt in the brine is activated and works to melt the snow and ice before it turns into hard packed accumulation.

Sharing the Road with Snow Plows

Winter weather conditions can make driving a challenge for everyone, which is why safe driving is crucial. Plow trucks are big heavy vehicles that have many blind spots and cannot stop or maneuver quickly like a car. To ensure everyone’s safety, we kindly request that you exercise caution when driving near our crews. Here are some tips to help you share the road safely with snow plow trucks.

  • Don’t crowd the plow. The safest place is several car lengths behind the truck where the road has been freshly cleared.
  • If you see a DPW truck with the plow down, the driver is focused, and working to clear the road. Do not sneak up on or distract the driver.
  • Never pass a plow truck, especially on the right, or in the direction they are moving snow. This is dangerous and could result in an impact with the plow, or the snow being moved.
  • Never pass crews “Tandem Plowing” or “Echelon Plowing”. This is a technique where two to three plow trucks work side by side to clear a wider road.
  • Use caution when driving over bridges, as they freeze faster than the road does.
  • Be aware of salt being spread throughout plowing operations from behind the truck.

Thank you for your patience during snow events as our crews work to clear the way.