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Posted on: January 17, 2020

Preparing for wicked winter weather: How to help DPW crews keep roads safe this winter season

City salt truck on a snowy road in Jackson

When harsh snow and ice strike, crews from the City of Jackson Department of Public Works (DPW) are out in salt and plow trucks helping to make sure streets are safe to use. 

Bob Stolarz is a DPW worker who’s been battling winter weather for 21 years in Jackson. 

“During big snow events, workers like myself often spend up to 12 hours a day behind the wheel of a plow or salt truck,” Stolarz said. 

Crews target major roads and emergency snow routes first and then turn their attention to neighborhood streets. 

The City uses a mixture of salt and sodium chloride to treat roadways. Sodium chloride helps make the salt more effective during freezing cold temperatures.

 Seeing as Jackson has many narrow neighborhood streets, the DPW asks residents to please remove parked vehicles from streets when there’s a winter weather event.

 “Removing vehicles from streets means the City can efficiently treat the roadways. 

Vehicles left on streets slows us down and often leads to big sections of streets not getting attention because it’s difficult for our large rigs to get around parked vehicles,” said DPW Supervisor Randy Lybarger. 

As crews travel cautiously around vehicles, they also ask residents do the same for them. 

Drivers should keep their distances from salt and plow trucks so they can safely treat roads. 

That includes not following the trucks too closely, staying out of blind spots, and not trying to pass them. 

Attempting to pass these trucks during a weather event can cause serious crashes. 

Residents should also be aware of a winter weather emergency being declared by the City. 

Depending on the severity of the event, residents may be asked to remove parked vehicles from streets or to stay off roads entirely.

 Information about winter weather emergencies is distributed through CodeRED, the City’s website, and social media. 

DPW crews appreciate the help they get from the community.

 “The more assistance we get from residents, the sooner roads will be made safer for everyone.” Stolarz said. 

This story appeared in the Winter 2020 City of Jackson Newsletter. 

Here is a map of that DPW crews use for snow routes: 

snow route map

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