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After storms brought a foot of snow earlier this week and half a foot overnight to the Yampa Valley, city crews are readying their equipment for the next round of storms approaching from the west.
The National Weather Service forecast calls for snow over the coming week. A Winter Storm Advisory has been issued for Friday night, with 5 to 10 inches of snow, before a short break on Saturday. The next wave of storms from the Pacific flow into town Saturday evening, carry into Sunday and early into the work week.
“Our team takes great pride in the job and is committed to managing snow efficiently and safely for our community,” said Public Works Director Jon Synder. “We’re on the roads once the snow starts falling and work seven days a week, 24 hours a day, often out in ever changing and challenging conditions.”
The city’s snow plowing program utilizes a fleet of motor graders, complemented by sand trucks. This method allows for improved widening of the roadways, the removal of snow pack on the streets, and a reduction in windrows (berms) per storm.
The first priority is to keep streets clear of snow for emergency access and traffic flow. Streets are prioritized according to public safety requirements and traffic volumes, with a focus on access routes for emergency vehicles, bus and commercial routes, before moving into residential areas. When the storm stops, snow storage piles are removed using loaders and a massive blower, which can fill a dump truck full of snow in under ten seconds, and transported to the snow storage site.
Residents are reminded not to push, place or put snow in the street as it creates a safety hazard, is a violation of the municipal code, and creates a larger windrow for your neighbor when streets are plowed. Private contractors are prohibited from dumping or storing snow on city streets, such as parking spots, or in the city right-of-way. Also, please refrain from playing or building snow forts in the right-of-way.
During plowing, snow windrows are created across driveways and removal is the responsibility of the property owner. The city tries to keep this occurrence to a minimum, but it will happen with the grader approach and the sheer volume of snow. Residents can often minimize windrows, by clearing an area to the left of the driveway to collect snow pushed by the plow as well as shovel/blow snow in the same direction as traffic to accumulate down road of the plow on your property.
“Our crews all live here and recognize that winter brings lots of snow and can be long; however, we’re all in this together,” said Streets Superintended David Van Winkle. “We’re focused on ensuring our roads remain travel-able and safe; but recognize that some inconveniences come with the process and ask for your understanding and patience.”
The city maintains 80 miles of streets, 6 miles of alleys, 37 parking lots, 1,100 fire hydrants and 105 cul-de-sacs, utilizing 5 graders, 4 sand trucks with 2,800 tons of scoria annually, operated over two shift by 17 full-time and seasonal employees. The five miles of US Highway 40 through downtown is the responsibility of the Colorado Department of Transportation. Additional information on winter operations, parking restrictions and snow removal can be found at steamboatsprings.net/snow.
David Van Winkle, Streets Superintendent, 970.879.1807 or email
Jon Synder, Public Works Director, 970.871.8207 or email