Snow Update Page
Last Updated 3:30 p.m. 1/15/2017:
Check out answers to frequently asked questions and prepare for wintry weather with these tips. Learn about the City’s snow removal process and emergency snow routes. View the snow map, which shows the location of snow plows in real time. Tips about safety during cold weather can be found on the City’s cold weather page.
Important contact information to keep with you: 311, 816-513-1313 and the Missouri Department of Transportation, 816-622-6500.
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If the forecast calls for snow, the City is ready
Kansas City Public Works Operations Manager Greg Bolon takes snow seriously.
But not too seriously.
“We’re watching all the usual forecasts,” he says. “National Weather Service, wooly worms, persimmon seeds, the Farmer’s Almanac. We like to stay ahead of the curve.”
After months of pre-snow preparation, Bolon and the rest of the Public Works snow team can afford to joke. The City’s salt domes are fully stocked with 37,000 tons of salt and 30,000 gallons of liquid calcium chloride to pre-treat during extreme low temperatures. Inspections are complete on the 180 vehicles in the City’s snow-fighting arsenal and drivers are familiar with their routes.
Once snow hits the ground, though, the Public Works Department and their partners in Water Services and Parks and Recreation will take to the streets in a serious effort to keep roads passable and ensure the safety of the driving public. Arterial crews will drive nonstop to clear major streets from curb to curb while residential drivers will take their pickup trucks into neighborhoods to plow safe paths for drivers hoping to leave their homes. The City has even partnered with external organizations to remove snow from downtown sidewalks and bridges.
Drivers have a range of tools to help make their jobs easier. The City’s vehicles are equipped with GPS tracking to allow quick response if a driver is stuck or needs assistance. Snow coordinator Chris Lockey will work with traffic engineers at the department’s Traffic Operations Center to manage neighborhood and arterial cleanup operations. GPS tracking and a network of cameras will allow Lockey’s team to pinpoint areas with sudden freezing or snow buildup and ensure that vehicles are deployed to clear the way.
Ultimately, the most important weapon in the City’s arsenal is its personnel. Field and office staff routinely work long hours during major snow events, putting other tasks on hold until the roads are clear.
“We’ve got construction inspectors and right-of-way agents plowing the same routes and working the same hours,” McIntyre says. “Our people realize this is a crucial task and step up to help their fellow Kansas Citians. We can’t ask anything more than that, and we couldn’t keep things clear without their contribution.”
You can view the City’s snow tip videos below: