Snow Removal

How We Plow

Winter in Missoula can be long and unpredictable. During the heart of the winter season, Street Division crews plow snow and apply deicer and sand around the clock to keep streets as safe as possible.

  1. Snowplowing Process

Crews begin plowing snow once 2 inches of snow accumulates on the streets.

The Street Division’s Snow Removal Priority Plan outlines the order in which our crews plow the streets. The priorities are determined according to traffic volumes, steepness of hills, public transit routes, proximity to schools, and access to businesses.

  1. Priority Routes
    1. Priority 1 and 2 Streets are plowed first and in that order and according to our Snow Removal Priority Routes Map.
      • Driving lanes and bike lanes are plowed first.
      • The goal is to have all Priority 1 and Priority 2 streets and school and public transit routes plowed and deiced or sanded by 7:30 a.m. before the morning rush-hour traffic.
      • Our ability to achieve this goal depends on how much snow we get and how long the snow storm lasts.
    2. Priority 3 streets will be plowed once 1 and 2 are completed.
      • We try to have all remaining priority streets plowed within three working days.
    3. Additional Cleanup Work
      • After driving lanes, bike lanes, and middle turning lanes have been cleared on all three priority routes, units may return to do additional cleanup work.
  2. Residential Areas 
    1. Snowplowing in residential areas (not on a priority route) is performed by five pickup trucks with mounted plows.
    2. Residential areas are divided into five areas with one pickup plow clearing each area.
    3. Crews vary where they start in each residential area so that each side of an area gets to be cleared first. So, for one snow event a street may be cleared first, but during the next snow storm, that street may be last.
    4. Crews plow between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
    5. Weekend plowing may be done in response to severe events resulting in an accumulation of 6 inches or more of snow within 24 hours.
    6. City crews will not remove snow berms deposited in front of driveways, mailboxes or around cars parked on streets unless the berms are substantially higher than adjacent berms.
  1. Deicer & Sand Use
  1. Property Owner Responsibilities
  1. equipment used
  1. miles maintained
  1. report A snow-related concern
  1. more information

Did You Know?

  • The Street Division plows bike lanes:
    • Bike Lane Map (PDF)
    • A pickup-mounted plow and deicer system is dedicated to plowing and deicing the full length and width of the bike lanes on our Priority 1 streets.
  • Washing your car every couple weeks during the winter, when temperatures allow, is a good practice to remove road grime.
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8