The City of Elko is committed in providing excellent service to our citizens. The goal of this policy is to provide our citizens with safe, courteous, dependable, economical service wherever and whenever possible for our residents.
One of the more difficult tasks of the Street Department is dealing with snow and ice control. When the snow begins to fall, the Street Department Superintendent and the Police Department patrols monitor the situation. When the roads begin to become slick, crews are dispatched to mitigate the problem. Frequently, these call outs occur in the middle of the night, but the crews are willing to respond to alleviate the safety hazard. Occasionally, the Street Department crews are supplemented with manpower and equipment from other City departments.
Priorities are established as follows:
Priority 1: all main arterials considered to be the minimum network which must be kept open to provide a transportation system connecting the hospital, police, fire, schools, and designated neighborhoods.
Priority 2: all other selected collectors completing the network covering the major traffic volume streets and selected “hot spots’ such as intersections and hills.
Priority 3: all remaining streets, such as local and residential streets. Priority 3 streets will not receive regular winter maintenance.
Except in the case of a bona fide, life-threatening emergency, streets are sanded and plowed according to the priorities set forth in this plan.
- Snow Plowing
Snow will be plowed to the side of the street in order to better manage snow events, to save taxpayers dollars by utilizing more efficient procedurs, and to minimize the adverse affect that meling snow has on the life of our streets. Snow will only be hauled when the City deems it necessary to improve visibility, drainage and parking, or in areas where snow storage is limited.
Reasons Why the City Plows to the Side of the Street
- It is cost effective and safe.
- We are able to service our community more quickly.
- It reduces liabilities associated with berms.
- It improves accessibility for emergency responders.
- It prolongs the life of our streets by getting the snow and moisture off the street.
- It eliminates the need to reapply salt or sand as the berm melts and that water refreezes across the travel way.
- It provides a much safer travel way clear of obstructions.
Prior to storms, and when conditions are favorable, the City will pre-treat the roads with a liquid anti/deicing agent in an effort to prevent ice from bonding with the road surface and building up. During and after a storm the City will also treat with salt/sand, or an alternative solid deicing product to mitigate slick conditions.
Other Methods Used
Other methods of snow and ice control, if deemed reasonable and necessary, will be utilized. One method that may be used is "slushing", which brings snow back and forth across the travel way to utilize movement, friction, and vehicular traffic to melt the snow.
The City may retain the help of private contractors to supplement City forces with snow and ice control.
Eldery/Medically Challenged Citizen Assistance
When available, volunteer groups including NYTC, Elko County Sheriff’s Department, and Nevada Division of Forestry, may help provide relief by shoveling driveways and sidewalks for the elderly or medically challenged citizens. To pre-qualify, contact the Street Department at 777-7241.
The Elko Regional Airport staff is responsible for clearing the Airport runway, taxiway and aprons. In the event there is a major snowfall, the Street Department crew may be called off City streets to help at the Airport.
The Mayor and City Council may declare an emergency during heavy snowfall or blizzard conditions. When such an emergency situation arises, City staff, in conjunction with the Mayor and City Council, will determine snow removal priorities.
Tips on How the Public Can Help
The City of Elko strongly encourages neighborly assistance. Civic and volunteer groups can provide assistance with driveway, and sidewalk clearing for our citizens that need help.
Be prepared for winter weather. Watch the weather outlook and park off the street before a storm. This allows the City crews to do our work without obstacles or blocking vehicles. If a storm is predicted that is expected to be 4 inches or greater and off-street parking is not available, please observe the following alternate parking recommendations.
- If a storm is predicted of 4 inches or greater on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, or Sundays, park your vehicle on the even numbered side of the street.
- If a storm is predicted of 4 inches or greater on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays, please park on the odd numbered side of the street.
Snow removal. Make sure all your tools are in good condition and ready for use. Remember that it is always easier to remove the snow when it's fresh, before it gets packed down. Shoveling snow can be a strenuous activity, remember to consult your physician.
Snow Storage. It's good to have a plan for where you should store snow. When possible snow should be stored on the landscape area. Piling the snow in your gutter can cause drainage problems.
- When you shovel driveways, pile the snow to the right-hand side of your driveway when facing the street. This way the snow you just shoveled will not be pushed back into your driveway by the snow plows.
- Do not blow or shovel snow into the street, it is a traffic safety hazard and you could become liable if it causes an accident.
- Please remove trailers and recreational vehicles from on street parking to allow the crews to plow the streets as wide as possible.
Clear snow from around fire hydrants and be careful you don't block the hydrants when you shovel snow!!!!
Report problems. Please call the Public Works Department at 777-7241 if you notice blocked drains, slick areas, or any other issue that we can solve.
Q: How many miles of streets are in the City of Elko?
A: The City of Elko has over 180 lane miles of streets.
Q. Why doesn't my street get plowed?
A. The City of Elko concentrates first on all main arterial streets which provide a transportation system connecting the hospital, police fire and schools, followed by known hazardous areas (hills) and collector street intersections within commercial and residential areas, then remaining street intersections and trouble spots. Residential streets, with relatively low volume of traffic, will not receive regular winter maintenance. It is to be emphasized that plowing of priority 3 streets may not occur at all. However, emergency situations will be responded to.
Q: What proactive measures does the City take in regard to snow removal?
A: The City checks the weather on the Internet and also contacts the local National Weather Service Office for weather advisories. Sanders are filled, and plows and sanders are kept fueled and ready. Crews review the snow removal procedures each fall and throughout the winter season.
Q: Why does it seem to take so long to get the City's streets plowed?
A: City streets take longer to plow than rural roads because of the nature of living in a City. Snowplows have to dodge traffic; work around parked cars; keep an eye out for pedestrians; avoid road hazards, i.e., manhole covers, dips, intersections, etc.; and cannot travel at the higher rates of speed that rural roads allow.
Q: Who else plows snow from the streets in the City?
A: Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) is responsible for maintaining 5th Street south of Idaho Street, Mountain City Highway, and Idaho Street from 5th Street west to Mountain City Highway. The City of Elko is responsible for all other streets located within the City Limits.