Keeping City roadways and parking lots reasonably clear of snow and ice is a big job. There are approximately 200 miles of streets in Middleton. When winter weather is forecast, the Dir. Public Works meets with the Street Foreman to discuss a plan of action. Many weather factors are considered in determining the planned operations, including:
- Current road conditions
- When the snow is expected to begin and end (time of year, day of week and hour of day)
- The rate and amount of snow predicted
- The expected moisture content of the snow
- Temperatures of the roadway pavement and air
- Dew point and relative humidity
- Wind conditions
- The forecast interval before the next storm event
Routine snow plowing and removal operations are accomplished by our 8-person street crew and 1 mechanic. Salting of the City streets can usually be accomplished in 2-3 hours, and plowing all streets once usually takes about 6-8 hours. During snow events with a long duration or large volume of snow, we may need to call in help from other departments so we can plow continuously in shifts.
To accommodate the timely and effective plowing of snow, especially during major events, citizens are encouraged to park off the streets if at all possible.
Citizen compliance with state statutes and local ordinances is needed to ensure our ability to open routes for emergency responders and to minimize the amount of time and expense needed to clear all roads. Ways that citizens can help to reduce time and costs for plowing operations include:
- Ensuring that snow cleared from driveways and sidewalks isn’t deposited into streets (even temporarily)
- Following seasonal alternate side parking regulations
- Keeping solid waste (refuse & recycling) collection carts off of the streets
- Parking vehicles off of the streets if possible
- Clear snow around fire hydrants on or near your property
- Monitor refuse and recycling collection day information for cancellations
Once the plowing operations are completed, if you experience any hazardous driving conditions on a City street or parking lot, please call the Middleton Public Works Department at 821-8370 during normal business hours (8:00 - 4:00), or call the Middleton Police Department 608-824-7300 after hours and on weekends.
Frequently Asked Questions About City Snow Removal Operations:
Like the rest of us, snowplow drivers have to shovel snow from their driveways when they finish plowing the City streets, and they try to keep as much snow out of driveway openings as possible. However, they can’t raise the plow blades, or direct the plow blades away from the curb line and still clear the streets. The City uses variable pitch blades on the front of the trucks, but the wing plow blades are at a fixed angle, and the snow can be directly only to the right. To minimize the amount of snow plowed into your driveway, clear the snow from your driveway in the direction of traffic (to the right as you face the street) to create a buffer area into which some of the snow coming off of the plow blade can be deposited.
Snow in Driveways
Unfortunately, while removing snow from the streets, snow gets deposited at the ends of driveways. We regret this inconvenience but recognize this as part of snow removal and we ask our residents and business owners to do the same. It is illegal to push or deposit snow across and/or onto the streets. We ask residents to be conscious of this law. To reduce the amount of snow that may get deposited into the end of your driveway, pile snow to the right side (as you face the street) of your driveway.
Driveway, private road, and parking lot snow clearing should be conducted in such a way that no snow from private property is left on the paved portion of the municipal roadways. This can create potentially hazardous conditions for motorists and increase the overtime necessary for plow drivers to re-plow impacted areas. If your driveway is configured so there is no place to plow all your snow onto your property, any snow that has been pushed onto the municipal roadway as a result of your driveway plowing must be cleared from the roadway immediately after your driveway is cleared. In addition, the snow must be pushed at least three (3) feet from the edge of the curb or edge of the pavement. Please note that Public Works crews have been instructed to report any violations to the Spring Grove Police Department for enforcement action.
Kindly forward this information to any parties responsible for snow clearing at your property to help us keep our municipal roadways safe during the winter season. Thank you for helping us in our efforts!
It is inefficient, and in some events not even possible, for a plow truck to push snow to the center of a cul-de-sac. The weight of the snow is often too great to push to the center, and pushing the snow to the outside actually helps the truck make the left-hand turn around the cul-de-sac which is often at the limit of the truck’s turning radius. In addition, runoff from melting snow piled in the center of a cul-de-sac would drain toward the outside of the cul-de-sac which could cause icing of the pavement when temperatures drop.
The City uses variable pitch blades on the front of the trucks, but the wing plow blades are at a fixed angle, and the snow can be directly only to the right. While unintentional, sometimes the volume of snow, the forces associated with moving snow, and the amount of snow already piled on the curb edge can impact snow that might spill onto your sidewalk.
Like many municipalities whose storm sewers drain into Lake Mendota, the City of Middleton makes a concerted effort to limit the amount of salt placed on streets during winter. This policy not only helps the environment, but also helps keep taxes in check. By policy, we generally place salt only on hills, curves, approaches to intersections, school zones, bridges, and arterial and collector streets. Low volume residential streets without grade problems will not routinely be salted.
Salting all City streets typically takes about 4 hours. Salt placed too early in a rain event will typically either dissolve or get pushed to the road edges by traffic. Salt placed too late in a rain/freeze event will be on top of the ice where it is not very effective. To further complicate matters, it is not possible to accurately predict when the rain will end and the water remaining on streets will freeze. While we do the best we can to spread salt on as many roads as possible prior to freezing, when the temperature drops quickly we don’t have time to place salt on all streets.
Both State Statutes and local ordinances restrict depositing snow in the streets. Snow deposited on the roads can lead to hazardous conditions for traffic, creates additional work for City crews to re-clear the areas, and fills terrace areas that neighbors would use for their snow storage.
First, we apologize for this. City plow drivers make every attempt to operate safely and prevent damage to mailboxes. Should this occur, please let us know at your earliest convenience by submitting a form here.