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Downers Grove sticks with snow removal plan

The winter of 2008-09 will go down as anything but normal, especially by those working snow removal operations for the Village of Downers Grove. Already, the Village has received 41 inches of snow fall, compared with the 17 inches usually expected by this time of year. Despite the high number of snow events this season, the Village has maintained a high level of customer service, guided by the Snow and Ice Policy.

Snow Operations

A team of 40 Village employees is trained in snow removal operations and ready to be called into action when needed. Large and small vehicles equipped with plows and computerized salt spreaders are used for clearing Village streets, parking lots and downtown sidewalks.

In accordance with the Snow and Ice Policy, roads are prioritized. The most heavily traveled roads (Priorities 1 and 2) are targeted for completion 12 hours after a storm has ended. The least traveled roads (Priority 3) are targeted for completion 18 hours after a storm has ended.

At any given time during a major snow event, there may be 10 to 15 vehicles on the road performing snow operations in hazardous conditions. The Village installed a vehicle tracking system on its snow plow fleet to monitor the speed, location and direction of all vehicles at any time. The system also monitors the temperature of the pavement and surrounding areas. Data can also be recorded for future training purposes or to make adjustments to a route to improve efficiency.

State and County Roads

Not all roads in Downers Grove are plowed by the Village. For instance Ogden Avenue and Butterfield Road are plowed by the State, while others such as 63rd St. and 75th St. are plowed by DuPage County. A complete list of State and County Roads is available.

Damaged Mail Boxes

As snow piles up along the parkway, mail boxes along certain routes are prone to damage by the force of the snow coming off the plow blade. Contact the Community Response Center at 630.434.2255 to report the damage.

Pothole Repair

When the weather breaks and plowing comes to a halt, Public Works crews are out dealing with yet another perennial by-product of winter, the pothole. There are two crews working to fill potholes whenever it is not snowing and the temperature is over 0 degrees. The Village recently purchased equipment which maintains the proper temperature of asphalt used for patching. This is yet another step toward improving efficiency as it enables the material to be heated overnight so that it is ready for use by crews first thing in the morning.

Fire Hydrants

The Village asks for residents’ help in keeping fire hydrants cleared from snow and ice. Cleaning the area around a hydrant can save precious minutes for firefighters during an emergency. If a hydrant is located near your home and you have the means to clear it, please do so. The Downers Grove Fire Department offers a program called Pluggie’s Pals that invites children to take care of a hydrant. For more information or to sign up for this program, contact the Fire Department at 630.434.5582.