Winter Roads Maintenance
Snow Plowing, Sanding & Deicing
Spokane County's maintenance department provides snow and ice control for all county roads. Snow removal is organized by the following priority system:Priority 1 - Major Arterials
Priority 2 - Secondary Arterials
Priority 3 - Residentials
Priority 4 - Not Plowed
Snow Plow Priority Map (pdf)
When the roads are plowed, snow must be removed to the curb line to ensure mail delivery and that snow-melt or rain water can reach drains. Trucks providing traction sand (mixed with road salt and granular deicer) usually follow the plows. A liquid deicing solution instead of sand may be applied to the more heavily traveled arterials depending on weather conditions and temperatures. Liquid deicer is used to prevent the snow from bonding to the asphalt and it also helps to minimize the amount of dust particles in our air.
The Road Department has 36 snow plows/sanding trucks, 34 graders, and 4 deicing trucks. Spokane County crews work in 12-hour shifts around the clock to ensure the entire road system (5,100+ lane miles) is plowed.
- When the roads are plowed the snow must be removed to the curb line to ensure mail delivery and to ensure that snow-melt and rain water can reach drains. Trucks providing traction sand usually follow plowing.
- Traction sand usually includes a mix of road salt and a granular deicer. Granular deicer is more effective than liquid deicer at colder temperatures.
- Instead of traction sand, a liquid deicing solution may be applied to more heavily traveled arterials, depending on weather conditions and temperatures. Applying a preventive coating significantly affects the forming of black-ice and acts as a barrier between snow accumulation and the pavement.
- Spokane County Public Works' has more than a dozen “boots” or “gates” on snow removal equipment that are used to block snow from entering a driveway.
- Snow plows do not move snow to the center of cul-de-sacs because it can block access for Emergency Response vehicles.
- Do not allow children to dig tunnels or build forts in the snow berms that are piled in the middle or by the side of the road. Plow operators cannot see children hidden in deep snow.
Private Property Snow Removal
Spokane County has a policy regarding plowing/blowing/shoveling snow from private property onto the county road right-of-way. In accordance with the Spokane County Code Chapter 8.24, it is a misdemeanor to place material on a county road right-of-way. This creates problems for motorists who must drive over it and makes the county's snow removal efforts more difficult. The snow from your property must be left on your property.