The City of Centennial provides cost effective snow and ice control services ensuring adequate mobility for public transit and emergency vehicles and access to businesses and residential streets when authorized in the event of a severe winter storm.
Weather conditions are monitored, and snow plowing operations are initiated once accumulation on the pavement surface begins and snow can be effectively plowed. The City deploys up to 20 snowplows, depending on the storm intensity. Snow removal from streets with four travel lanes includes plowing travel lanes during the storm and turn lanes and paved medians after the snowfall ends, which may require pushing snow onto sidewalks in cases where the sidewalk is attached to the curb. Streets with two travel lanes are plowed as wide as possible without pushing snow onto the sidewalk.
Prior to snow plowing operations, anti-icing liquids such as magnesium chloride and/or salt brine may be applied to street and bridge pavement to reduce bonding of packed snow and ice to the pavement surface. During normal operations, a deicer material, such as Ice Slicer, a dark-colored salt, is spread on paved surfaces to assist with reducing snow pack and ice. Deicing materials allow the City to eliminate the use of sand except when pavement temperatures are below 5 degrees Fahrenheit and sand may be needed as a traction material. For environmental and cost reasons, the City uses best practices to minimize the quantity of deicing and anti-icing materials used.
Plowing operations are performed by trained operators using tandem-axle or single-axle dump trucks equipped with a plow and liquid or granular deicing material spreader. The spreaders are equipped with computerized controllers. All of the trucks are equipped with an Automatic Vehicle Location/Global Positioning System (AVL/GPS) to track the location of every snowplow.
The City’s snowplow operators attempt to keep snow from being plowed onto sidewalks of Priority 2 and Priority 3 streets. Unfortunately, due to poor visibility at night or during a storm, the snowplow operators are not always able to judge the distance to the curb and snow sometimes ends up on a sidewalk. If this occurs, the City will not remove the snow; however, the street maintenance crew supervisors should be informed of any incidents to determine if snow plowing practices can be adjusted to reduce the chance of this happening. Please call the Citizen Response Center at 303-325-8000 to report an incident to the Street Maintenance Field Services Manager.
Commercial Sidewalk Snow Removal
In an effort to promote public health, safety, convenience and general welfare for the Centennial community, business owners are required to clear snow from a sidewalk adjacent to their business. Beginning January 1, 2018, businesses adjacent to a major arterial roadway must clear snow from adjacent sidewalks when snow accumulation is four or more inches. Sidewalks must be clear 24 hours from the end of the snow event. Enforcement is complaint based with fines starting at $50.
The City’s snowplows will create a build up “windrow” of snow across driveways in the normal course of street plowing operations. The resident, business owner or property owner is responsible for opening driveways that are plowed closed by City snowplows. Since a plow truck may have to make several passes on the street during and after a storm, residents and businesses may have to remove the windrow more than once. The City understands the frustration this may cause residents and others clearing their driveways, but this is an unavoidable consequence of plowing snow.
In the event of a severe winter storm, snow plowing operations may be limited to the major arterial streets (Priority 1 snow routes) and it may become necessary to close streets or portions of streets to traffic. The Arapahoe County Sheriff may restrict the type of vehicles that may be operated on City streets during severe weather conditions and may order certain streets to be closed. Every effort will be made to alert the public of any restrictions and/or closures through the news media, community contacts and the City’s website.
When directed by the City Manager, snow plowing will be expanded to include Priority 3 residential streets concurrent to plowing the Priority 1 and Priority 2 streets. One pass in each direction on each street by a pickup-truck snowplow and the use of no deicer material is the extent of service for the Priority 3 residential snow plowing. For details regarding plowing routes, please check the Snow Routes Map.
Do you have more questions about snow and ice? View our Snow & Ice FAQs page.