Streets Winter Operations

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Street Department Winter Operations

North Dakota winters are famous for a number of reasons. Snowstorms, frigid temperatures, and changing conditions are all part of the mix. People who live here can understand how winter weather can adversely affect their daily routine. The Grand Forks Streets Department is designed to deal with various weather conditions and minimize the adverse impact on residents, businesses, and visitors.

This page is intended to provide information on the city's winter operations.

Grand Forks maintains approximately 625 lane miles. During the winter months, the Streets Department has the responsibility for plowing and removing snow as well as controlling and treating icy conditions. The department's goal is to provide practical safe access to homes, business, public buildings, and medical facilities during winter storms.

Weather and local road conditions are constantly monitored during the winter months. Forecasts are followed closely and are an important tool particularly when tracking large storms. The Streets Department, Police, and other city departments constantly monitor road conditions. Streets crews are on call and equipment can be mobilized quickly to treat an icy section of town or address a dangerous situation. Certain areas such as the major and secondary arteries are priority in icy conditions.

Emergency Storm Plowing

For public safety reasons, the Streets Department does not begin to plow until after it has stopped snowing and blowing. If weather allows, the plows go out during regular shifts. Otherwise, the morning crews typically start between 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., with part of the day crews starting around 3 a.m.. By 3 a.m., all of the snow removal equipment is in full operation. The remainder of the day crew starts at the normal time of 7:30 a.m., and all equipment remains in operation. Plowing is typically completed around 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., depending on snowfall amounts, conditions, and unanticipated breakdowns, etc.

Plowing/Sanding Route Priorities:

  • 1st major arterials (Gateway, DeMers, Washington, Columbia)
  • 2nd major arterials, Bus Routes, and Downtown (Cherry, Belmont, etc.)
  • 3rd All other streets divided into eleven separate plowing areas.
  • Sanitation Department assists by plowing alleys with Payloader
  • Streets Department Sign Shop plows public Sidewalks and Bikepaths (Only those which are not private owner's responsibility, approximately 30 miles)

Our goal is to plow all streets within 24 hours after the snowfall ends.  Additional snow and high wind can complicate our attempts to meet this goal.

During Emergency Snow Removal following a storm, it is not possible to open driveways. Driveway clearing is done only with the normally scheduled Street Maintenance snow removal.

Ice Control: Sand trucks sand major and secondary arteries first with premixed sand/salt. Residential areas are done as time permits.

Ordinances: Property owners are to remove snow and ice from sidewalks within 24 hours of snow falling. It is illegal to push or otherwise deposit snow on City streets or sidewalks, with penalty fines of $10 to $500 upon misdemeanor conviction.


Normal Snow Removal Schedule

Snow Removal - $20 parking ticket fine

The normal snow removal schedule is consistently performed, but is interrupted by emergency snow removal and resumed once emergency removal is complete. For example, if a storm occurs on Sunday, the emergency storm schedule begins late Sunday night, and into Monday. Monday's normal schedule is suspended until emergency procedure is completed, and we would resume the normal schedule with the Tuesday route. Monday's normal snow removal, including driveway clearing, would resume the following Monday.

No Parking - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Street Maintenance Schedule one sheet

The snow removal process includes:

  • Clean streets and intersections
  • Partially clear driveway ends
  • Street sanding, if needed

To contact the Streets Department:

Phone: 701-738-8740
FAX: 701-738-8749

724 N. 47th St.
Grand Forks, ND 58203

email the Streets department