The transportation network in Portage includes more than 220 miles of major, primary and neighborhood public streets, which are critical to the region's economy and public mobility. The Department of Public Works operates the city's snow removal program, designed to keep streets clear and safe in the most efficient manner possible. During snow events, snowplow drivers begin plowing, sanding and salting city streets as early as 3:30 AM. Streets are prioritized for snow plowing operations in the following manner according to how heavily the streets are traveled:
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 residential neighborhoods, including access streets to schools.
Priority III: All interior neighborhood streets.
Priority IV: Clean-up of cul-de-sacs and dead-end streets.
When a snowstorm is in progress, every effort is made to keep Priority I
and Priority II streets clear, which typically can be accomplished in 4 to 8 hours. Once the major roads are clear, snowplow drivers can begin to address the Priority III and Priority IV streets, usually requiring 24-48 hours to clear. De-icing materials are applied as needed throughout the duration of a storm, with major streets, bridges, intersections, hills and curves receiving priority attention. As a major storm moves through the area, city crews will continue efforts to clear city streets, oftentimes requiring a return to Priority I and
Priority II streets before Priority III and Priority IV are completely cleared.
Questions about the Portage snow plowing program can be directed to the Department of Public Works at 329-4444.
Mailbox Repair Replacement Program
City snowplow operators make every effort to minimize damage to mailboxes. Sometimes, the weight of the snow is simply too much for a mailbox to withstand. Take time before the onset of winter to inspect your mailbox. If the mailbox and/or post move when shaken, consider repair or replacement before the snow flies. Replace loose hinges and hardware on the mailbox door and flag. The City of Portage offers repair or replacement of mailboxes damaged during snowplow operations. If a mailbox is damaged and cannot be repaired by the city, the mailbox and/or post will be replaced with a standard mailbox and/or post meeting U.S. Postal Service specifications. The standard replacement mailbox is white or black and measures 6.5” x 19” x 8.5” with a hinged door and flag. Damaged posts will be replaced with a standard4” x 4” wooden post meeting U.S. Postal Service specifications. Those residents desiring replacement of a specialty box and/or post may choose to be reimbursed $44 for the cost of the standard style mailbox/post offered as part of the City of Portage Mailbox Repair / Replacement Program. By choosing this option, the resident will be responsible for any cost difference and the installation of the specialty equipment. Please visit reportit.portagemi.gov to report a damaged mailbox.
Help Snowplow Drivers Clear City Streets Rapidly and Effectively
A winter parking ordinance is in effect from November 1 through April 15 and prohibits parking a vehicle on a public street between the hours of 2 AM and 6 AM. The overnight parking restriction is in effect whether there is snow present or not. The City of Portage requests that in times outside those restrictions, residents make every effort not to park on the street.
- City ordinances prohibit the placement of basketball stands / hoops in the city right-of-way.
- On trash and recycling collection days, please keep containers on the curb rather than in the actual roadway.
- Michigan law prohibits residents and private snowplow operators from depositing snow from private driveways, parking lots and sidewalks onto any public roadway.
PlowTraxx™ is an app that allows users to view the real-time locations of active snow plows deployed during a snow event. The app utilizes Automated Vehicle Location (AVL), Geographic Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies to visually display the snowplows location. The app also displays the plowed status of city roads on an interactive map. PlowTraxx™ can be accessed at portagemi.gov/290 and on the MI.Portage app (available in the App Store & Google Play).