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Snow and Ice Removal Information
Because every snowstorm is different – temperature, moisture content, wind velocity, and storm duration, etc. we implement a snow removal plan unique to each storm. The primary focus is always on public safety.
Snow removal planning efforts for a snowstorm begin as soon as forecasts of impending weather events are received from the National Weather Service and Skyview Weather. Snow forecasts are continually monitored to determine when the storm will arrive, what snow accumulations can be expected, storm intensity, duration and what air temperatures can be anticipated.
For information on snow and ice removal responsibilities on state highways within Douglas County, visit the Colorado Department of Transportation. For snow and ice removal practices by the incorporated cities and towns in the County, please visit Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Lone Tree or Parker.
In Highlands Ranch, Douglas County is responsible for plowing roads and neighborhoods, while the Highlands Ranch Metro District is responsible for trails, community parking lots and more.
Snowplows need space to work, please give equipment adequate room to operate for your safety and that of the operators. Do not drive within a plow operator’s blind spot and never pass a snowplow that is engaged in snow removal. Snow and ice that comes off the plow blade can damage your vehicle or greatly obstruct your vision. And remember, a new 2019 Colorado law increases the penalty for drivers that pass an operating snowplow in “echelon formation” with two or more snowplows arranged diagonally – it is now a Class A traffic offense, punishable by a fine of up to $100. For more information about motorist safety when encountering plows:
- CDOT Bow to the Plow page
- Tandem Snowplow law Fact Sheet
- Check your tread
- More mountains/less traffic
- Are you ready for the traction law?
- Source for Colorado winter driving
Instructions – On the upper right click on Map Gallery and scroll to Snow Removal Route Priority, enter your address on the left-hand side. Zoom in on location to view route priority.
- Arterial roadways: are always addressed first. These are major roadways with high traffic volumes and high operating speeds that provide critical access and links within the County. The majority of the County’s snow removal equipment is needed to keep arterial roadways safe for travel. Clearing these roads is a top priority to ensure safe access for emergency vehicles, provide adequate lane width for traffic, and minimize surface re-icing. Because arterials are critical to the transportation and emergency needs of the County, snow removal equipment will remain on arterial roadways until the snowstorm dissipates. There are 834 lane miles of arterial roadways considered to be a top priority for snow removal in the County’s road network.
- Emergency Facilities: access to fire stations, hospitals, Sheriff stations, and other emergency facilities are also plowed as a first priority.
- Collector roadways/school bus routes: Once snowfall subsides and arterial roadways have been cleared and are safe, equipment is deployed to plow collector roadways and school bus routes. Collector roadways distribute traffic between arterial roadways and residential streets and often serve as links between subdivisions. Collector roadways normally do not provide direct access to private property.
- Local streets and cul-de-sacs: Local streets and cul-de-sacs provide for low and moderate traffic volumes within subdivisions and provide direct access to residences or private property. The plowing of local streets and cul-de-sacs is typically addressed after arterial and collector roadways have been cleared. All local streets and cul-de-sacs are plowed during every storm unless accumulations are minor and are expected to melt the following day. On heavy storms, snow may not be removed until the following day after arterials and collectors are plowed.