To make the snow removal process as efficient as possible, city streets are classified in three levels:
- Priorities - Roadways that carry the highest volume of traffic. They generally have 3 or 4 lanes.
- Secondaries - Streets that connect priority roadways to residential streets.
- Residential - Residential streets that include cul-de-sacs and dead-ends.
When a winter storm is forecast, Municipal Services staff monitors weather conditions throughout the City. Equipment is loaded and crews are placed on standby to respond when called. Streets will be pre-treated as necessary. Crews are dispatched to priority routes once freezing rain, sleet or snow begins to fall. As long as snow is accumulating crews will remain on priority routes until all driving and turn lanes are plowed and treated.
Municipal Services crews then move to secondary streets. These streets are plowed or treated until passable, which means some snow will remain on the road surface. With a typical winter storm, it generally takes 12 to 24 hours to treat or plow all routes after the snow stops. High winds, extremely cold temperatures and additional rain or snowfall will lengthen this time.
Residential streets will then be plowed or treated with one pass. Residents are asked to not park vehicles on the street when snow is forecast. If parking on the street is unavoidable, vehicles should be parked along the north side of east-west streets and along the west side of north-south streets.
Snow removal shifts are staffed 24 hours a day during winter storm events. Crews work on 12-hour alternating shifts during the week, weekends and holidays to provide continuous operations until roads are treated.
NOTE: The Snow Event Tracker will be operational during Winter Weather Event
NOTE: The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) maintains some roads in Independence. These include I-70, M-291 Hwy, M-78 Hwy (23rd Street), US 24 Hwy, US 40 Hwy and Truman Road from Spring Street to the west city limits. Use the MoDOT Traveler Information Map to determine which streets are maintained by MoDOT and check current conditions.
Staying Up to Date
How to Keep Your Driveway Clear
Removing snow from private driveways, entrances and sidewalks is the responsibility of the residential owner, occupant, community association, or business. To reduce the amount of snow being plowed back into driveways, shovel an open area along the shoulder at the drive entrance (see illustration). Plows will then push the snow into the area just before your driveway, leaving a smaller amount in front of your driveway. MoDOT has provided a short video about this.
Continuous freeze-thaw cycles can cause potholes in streets. Residents are encouraged to report potholes in the Action Center or call the Pothole Hotline at 325-7624 so repairs can be scheduled.