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Snow Removal

The mission of the snow removal program is to keep vehicular and pedestrian traffic moving safely throughout the City of Lapeer during inclement winter weather conditions.  Personnel are continually trained in the use of snow removal equipment and updated on the newest methods and technology in snow and ice removal.

Careful consideration has been given to prioritizing the snow removal effort.  Top priority is given to high traffic streets and intersections:

MDOT Trunkline - M-24 / Main Street
As a major artery for vehicular traffic through the City, it is given the highest priority and receives and continues to receive salting applications and snow removal in winter events to properly maintain traffic flow.

Major Streets
These City owned and maintained streets are main business and residential arteries which provide access to hospitals, schools, large residential areas, police and fire stations.  Major Streets are also given high priority and depending on the snow event and the number of employees called in for snow removal, they also receive and continue to receive salting applications and snow removal in winter events at the same time as the MDOT Trunkline at the same time or are given the second highest priority.

Local Streets
These are also City owned and maintained streets that are typically used to access residential areas.  Again depending on the snow event and the number of employees scheduled to work, local streets have snow removed second or third with salt application as required.  Due to the on street parking in many of our residential neighborhoods, which limits speeds and the ability to remove all of the snow from the streets, snow plowing does not remove all of the snow from the surface leaving a cap on the asphalt surface.  During warming events additional salt is added to these areas to assist in removing a buildup of snow from the roadways.  This does create a slushy street surface for a short period of time until it can melt away.

Alleys are plowed and salted after all streets have been completed due to having little traffic on a regular basis.

Sidewalks and Bridges
Snow and ice removal is specific to ownership.  The City of Lapeer maintains all sidewalks that are in front of or border City properties and bridge walkways.  Residence and business owners are required to clear snow from their sidewalks.  For additional information on time allotted for snow and ice removal, refer to Chapter 12 Streets, Sidewalks and Alleys of the General Ordinances of the City.

Driveway and Sidewalk Information

  • Snow is not permitted to be shoveled or moved onto the street.  When residents throw their snow onto an already plowed street, additional plowing is necessary, which takes away resources from the streets that have not been plowed.  This is in addition to creating a hazard for drivers.
  • Snow should be shoveled or moved onto lawn areas or close to the curb.
  • Property owners can be fined for placing snow into the streets or roadways.

The City is responsible to maintain the streets to ensure safe vehicular travel.  During the process of removing snow from the streets a great deal of force from moving snow occurs. The force of moving snow impacting a mailbox can cause damage to them due to not being maintained once installed, or/and ar installed improperly, or/and they are made from materials that does not withstand the force of snow combined with cold temperatures.

The City has no authority regarding a mailbox condition, how it is installation, the material used and/or control over the force of snow when being removed from City streets and for these reasons the City does not replace or repair mailboxes if they are damaged during a snow event.  The exception to this rule is if a City vehicle hits a mailbox.  If we hit a mailbox with our vehicle we will replace it.

F.A.Q.'s (Frequently Asked Questions)

How can I avoid having a city plow truck push snow into my driveway after I cleaned it?
Throughout the winter months, city crews will be out cleaning the streets during and after a snow event.  At the same time residents are clearing their driveways.  Many times while this is going on, a snowplow truck will go by and fill in the end of a freshly cleared driveway with snow from the street, causing frustration and more clearing for residence.  Please understand that the City's first priority is the safety of the traveling public and clearing the streets of snow and ice.  Snow removal is done by pushing snow off of the streets moving it behind the curb, as a result snow is also pushed into driveways, an unavoidable winter time evil.

  • So why does the city come by once pushing the snow toward the curb, only to come by a second time moving the snow once more over the curb?  The truck usually makes one pass to open the street up so residents may get in and out.  The truck comes back to widen the street and move the snow over the curb to allow for future snow placement.
  • Why can't they pick up their blade when going by a driveway?  Picking up a blade would create a hazard.  As a truck plows snow, snow is accumulated within the plow.  If we were to pick up the plow a pile of snow would be left in the street creating a hazard.  Additionally, this is not a practical solution and our drivers would never finish clearing the streets due to multiple driveways and the time delay this would create.

Why does a street plow leave snow on sidewalks, especially at the bottom of crosswalks?
The City is aware of the difficulty snow plowing can create for sidewalk clearance, particularly at corners.  Plow drivers work to reduce this situation the best they can.  However, given the crowded nature of streets and the volume of snow we are dealing with, snow at sidewalk intersections can pile up similar to the situation at the approach of a driveway.  Property owners may need to use ice melt and metal shovels if the snow has become very packed down.

Why was the plow truck speeding past my house?
Our drivers are required to follow all applicable laws and will be held responsible for violations.  Please provide the time and location and if possible the vehicle number for us to follow up, to the Department of Public Works at 810.664.4711.  Also, please be aware that the trucks are frequently in a lower gear and using high engine RPM to maintain the power necessary to push the snow; this may create the impression that they are speeding.  The truck size, engine and plow blade noise and flying debris make judgment of speed by an observer difficult.

The fire hydrant is blocked with snow, why?
City crews do clear away snow from fire hydrants when they are not plowing streets.  However, at times the department gets stretched thin especially if we are having a bad winter season with lots of snow and main breaks.  Adopt a fire hydrant!  Please help the community by clearing away the snow from a fire hydrant.

What are the limitations of road salt?
The minimum practical application range for road salt is a pavement temperature of 15-20 degrees Fairenhiet and above.  Road salt will melt snow and ice down to a pavement temperature of -6 degrees Fahrenheit.  Wind and pavement material also play a role in the effectiveness of road salt.  Much consideration goes into when and how often it is applied. 

Annual Snow Removal Cost Information: