Snow Plowing and Winter Information

The Public Works Department is ready for another snow season! Following are some frequently asked questions as well as links to other useful information.

 
Have You Read the Winter Pride Newsletter
Pride Winter 2016 2017

What does the Village’s snow operation involve?

  • Village employees drive 18-27 trucks in nine zones in shifts that range from 8 to 12 hours until the work is completed.  
  • For a snowfall up to eight inches, operations typically last for ten hours after the snowfall has stopped.  
  • Most of the 56 employees in Public Works perform duties during winter storms.  
  • Salting and plowing is done by maintenance workers, water operators, mechanics, and engineering technicians.  
  • Administrative staff directs the operation, monitors weather reports, answers the phones, investigates reported concerns, and issues public information.  
  • Repairs for water main breaks and potholes are also performed concurrently with snow operations.  
  • Because our main focus is to clear streets for our residents, a contractor is used to clear Village-owned parking lots and the adjacent sidewalks

When will my street be plowed?


Visit our snow plowing route map to type in your address, and find out what route your home is located within.

There are 166 miles of streets in Lombard. The policy is really as simple as... the busier the street, the higher the priority. Crews work around the clock in nine zones. 

1.All streets accessible for emergency vehicles
2.Arterial & collector streets passable for general public
3.Local streets passable for general public
4.Arterial & collector streets to normal conditions
5.Commuter parking lots and public buildings accessible
6.Corners pushed back within two blocks of schools
7.Local streets to normal conditions
8.Alleys accessible
9.Snow removed from middle of certain lengths of Main Street, St. Charles Rd. and Westmore-Meyers Rd.
10.Corners pushed back everywhere

Snow Plowing Route Map

Snow map image

Why can't the plow avoid plowing snow into my driveway?


The plows push snow toward the curb so a driveway opening will necessarily accept more snow than a curb face.  In order to minimize the amount in the driveway, leave snow in place for the last foot of the driveway until the snow removal operation is done, which is after the streets have been cleared to the curb face. Another suggestion is to leave a pocket for the snow to fall into (see diagram).
driveway clear2

What rules do I need to follow during a snow event for safe snow removal?


Local ordinances are meant to allow snow removal to be done as efficiently and safely as possible. Two main rules to remember are: 
  1. Do not park on the street after one inch of snow has fallen
  2. Do not place snow onto a street, sidewalk or alley.  
After one inch of snowfall, and sometimes sooner, trucks have their plows down, which increases the chances for an accident with a parked car. Side view mirrors are an occasional casualty of cars unlawfully parked on the street.  In addition, the inability to clear the entire road will either delay the operation or leave an un-cleared area.  The Police Department has the ability to issue tickets and have vehicles towed. 

Watch the below video to see how cars parked in the street during a snow event are difficult for plows to navigate. 

What are those lines on the streets?


Crews spray a brine solution onto the busy streets in anticipation of snow or ice.  This solution consists mostly of normal salt brine, but sometimes with a portion of calcium chloride (for low temperatures) and beet juice (to reduce the chloride content and enhance adherence). This enables safer travel at the start of a storm, more time for crews to mobilize after hours (especially in the middle of the night), eliminates overtime for minor accumulations, and reduces the amount of chlorides entering our receiving waterways.
 
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has identified chlorides as a pollutant that harms the ability of waterways to host fish and the insects that they rely upon.  Lombard and our neighboring communities have been actively reducing the amount of chlorides (most notably, rock salt) used in the watersheds of the East Branch DuPage River and Salt Creek. The use of anti-icing before a storm helps greatly in this manner. Brine is also sprayed onto rock salt as it is dispersed from trucks in order to reduce the scatter off the street and make it work faster. Lombard has been able to reduce its salt application rate by half as a result of these practices, thus saving money and doing better for our environment. 

Why is snow plowed into the center of Main, St. Charles and Westmore-Meyers?


Certain lengths of these roads have sidewalk directly adjacent to the curb and heavy pedestrian use.  As a result, crews push snow into a “windrow”, to later either be melted if pavement temperatures allow or removed by a truck-mounted snow-blower and semi-trucks.

How do I get my mailbox repaired?


Roadside mailboxes are sometimes damaged if they are hanging over the curb or if the snow is particularly heavy. Public Works will repair or replace mailboxes damaged by the Village's snow removal effort. When a mailbox is damaged beyond repair, a temporary box is placed until Spring when the resident is offered a choice of either a new standard mailbox or a $35.00 reimbursement toward the cost to purchase another. Click here to report a damaged mailbox.

snowplow

Get to know your snow plow driver!

When winter weather threatens to impact our area, our Public Works crews gear up and head out to help keep our Village roads safe. These individuals are our first line of defense when it comes to winter weather. They are the unsung heroes who work overnight shifts in winter storms, to keep us safe. Ever wonder about the people who plow your streets? From their favorite sports teams, to the names of their family and pets, get to know your snow plow driver! Find out more at www.villageoflombard.org/myplowdriver


Who is responsible for sidewalk clearing of snow in front of businesses?

 
Lombard ordinance requires snow removal from public sidewalks adjacent to commercial properties. Within 24 hours of the end of each snowstorm, public sidewalks (near the street) adjacent to commercial properties must have a path cleared to provide safe passage so pedestrians do not have to walk in the street.  This is particularly important in areas of high pedestrian traffic including Main Street near Glenbard East High School, Downtown, and along Roosevelt Road.   

While the ordinance does not require snow removal from public sidewalks abutting residential properties, the same hazards exist. Some people have expressed a concern regarding liability involved in removing snow, but the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act (745 ILCS 75/2) provides that anyone who "removes or attempts to remove snow or ice from sidewalks abutting the property shall not be liable for any personal injuries allegedly caused by the snowy or icy condition of the sidewalk."

Please help keep the pedestrians of our community safe by keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice. For more information please call our Code Enforcement phone number at (630)620-5757

What can I do to be ready for a winter storm?


Preparedness is key! Winter in the Chicagoland area is not joke. When it comes to cold weather and hazardous driving conditions, taking a few minutes to prepare ahead of time can make all the difference when faced with a winter storm, extreme temperatures or a power outage. Visit Ready.gov for tips on preparedness. Should you be in need of a warming site, locations can be found on DuPage County's Office of Emergency Management web page.

How much salt should I use on my residential driveway?


Don’t overuse salt! One pound of salt (approximately one coffee mug) is enough for a residential driveway, and a hand-held spreader helps to distribute it equally. The Illinois State Water Survey reports an increase of salt in our natural environment. Once dissolved, salt washes into soil and permanently pollutes our water. Here’s how you can help: 
  • Apply salt before snow fall to prevent bonding. This makes snow/ice easier to remove, and uses less salt.
  • Use masonry sand to help prevent slippery surfaces.
  • Let the sun do the melting.

Where can I learn more?

Updates regarding major storm response will be available on this page during the event. Questions regarding snow plowing may be directed to publicworks@villageoflombard.org or (630) 620-5740. Other roadway agencies working during storms include IDOT on the State routes (view IDOT's Road Condition Map), DuDOT on the County roads, and York and Milton Townships on their unincorporated roads.