City Snowplow Operators Ready to Tackle the Snow

The City of Portage provides a comprehensive snow removal program each winter along its 220 miles of city streets to ensure the maximum degree of safety to the motoring public. As early as 3:30 a.m., snowplow drivers are out plowing, sanding and salting city streets. In order to maximize benefit to Portage citizens, streets are prioritized for snowplowing operations according to how heavily the streets are traveled in the following manner:

PRIORITY I: All major streets (examples include South Westnedge Avenue, Oakland Drive, Milham Avenue, Kilgore Road, Shaver Road, Lovers Lane, etc.)

PRIORITY II: All primary “feeder” streets leading into various residential neighborhoods, including access streets to all schools.

PRIORITY III: All interior neighborhood streets.

PRIORITY IV: Clean-up of cul-de-sacs and dead end streets.

While a snowstorm is in progress, every effort is made to keep Priority I and Priority II streets clear. Typically, snowplow drivers can complete all Priority I and Priority II streets in 4 to 8 hours. Once these major roads are clear, plow drivers can begin to clear Priority III and Priority IV streets, usually requiring 24 to 48 hours. De-icing materials are applied as needed throughout the duration of a storm with major streets, bridges, intersections, hills and curves receiving priority attention. When a major storm moves through the area, city crews will continue efforts to ensure that streets are properly plowed and de-iced.

To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of snowplowing operations, residents are asked to comply with these city ordinances and state laws:

  • The Portage Code of Ordinances prohibits residents from having basketball stands in the city right-of-way.
  • The Portage Code of Ordinances prohibits vehicle parking on the streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., from November 1 to April 15. (See above article.)
  • On trash and recycling collection days, please keep containers on the curb rather than in the roadway.
  • Michigan law prohibits residents and private snowplow operators from depositing snow from private driveways, parking lots and sidewalks onto any public roadway.

The City of Portage Snow Removal Program is designed to keep city streets clear and safe in the most efficient manner possible. Questions about snow removal operations can be directed to the Department of Public Services at 329-4444. Updates to snowplowing progress during heavy snow events can be viewed here.