Snow and Ice Control Plan

City of Burton
Department Of Public Works
Road Division

Revised December 2016


The purpose of this plan is to define the operational procedures and best management practices for storing and utilizing snow and ice control materials and for performing winter maintenance activities.   It defines the levels of service the City of Burton Department of Public Works Road Division will strive to provide on our city streets and roadways.
This plan allows for and encourages improvement in operational efficiency and providing the desired levels of service to the public.

Since storms vary dramatically and occur over a variety of paved surfaces and traffic conditions, the City of Burton Snow and Ice Control Plan is intended to be a base guide with changes allowed as necessary.  This plan was made to fit average conditions, but is adaptable to a wide variety of conditions that are encountered by Road Division crews while working to maintain safe roads. 

Level of Service

The City of Burton Department of Public Works Road Division's snow and ice control operations are limited by the resources (budget, personnel, equipment and materials) available for winter maintenance.

Consequently, the City of Burton will follow our neighboring city with the plan calling for "safe roads at safe speeds", not "bare roads".  This means that roads are salted and/or sanded to allow safe travel at safe speeds, but that drivers should still expect to see snow on roadways during a storm.  Weather reports and patterns are monitored by the Road Division to evaluate the activities of snow and ice control.

Most travel takes place during the day, so the majority of the Road Division's resources are utilized between 5:00 am and 1:30 pm. Motorists should anticipate reduced coverage in the evenings, along with varying road conditions and drive accordingly.


All snow and ice calls can be directed to the Department of Public Works at (810) 742-9230.  The Department of Public Works hours of operation are first shift from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Monday through Friday.   After hours voice messages can be left and will be addressed the next business day.  Crews will do their best to address every situation.

From November 1st through April 1st, the City of Burton Police Department and Genesee County 911 Dispatch have a call list to activate the City of Burton Road Division snow and ice crews.

During snow events in which the total event accumulation is over 4 inches, the Mayor will receive daily updates from the DPW Director on the status of snow removal activities the past 24 hours and anticipated activities for the next 24 hours.

It may be necessary for the City of Burton to issue no parking advisories during snow emergencies in order to clear neighborhood streets of parked cars, which inhibit the crew's ability to plow the street. In the event of such advisories, a press release will be communicated from the Mayor’s office to area television and radio stations, the Burton View newspaper, the Flint Journal and Mlive, as well as a posting on the City of Burton website.

Priority levels and objectives

The goal of the Road Division during the winter months is to provide safe roadway system to be traveled at a safe speed; therefore, drivers have the responsibility to navigate their vehicles at a safe speed.  In order to accommodate the most traveled roads first, a priority order must be followed to address plowing, salting, and sanding city streets during winter weather events.

The city has been divided into 7 areas; crews will be deployed to all 7 areas during an event where over 4 inches of snow accumulates, so that all areas of the city will be treated at the same time. The Road Division has also set priority levels and time objectives for each type of event based on total event accumulation.

Priority 1- Major roads, dangerous hills, curves and intersections


Priority 2-Local streets

  • During a snow event with total accumulation of 0-2 inches, salting operations begin as streets cover with snow. This operation will consist of salting entire priority 1 level roads, this is dependent upon temperatures (going up or down), time of day and/or weather conditions for the next 24 hours.
    • During a snow event with total accumulation of 2-4 inches, crews will begin using under-body blades to plow all lanes in each direction on priority one level roadways. This activity will take up to 24 hours to complete.
    • During a snow event with total accumulation of 4-8 inches, crews will begin using front plow blades and teaming trucks up in the routes to get the priority 1 level roadways cleared first. This work will continue throughout the duration of the storm. Once priority 1 level roads have been accomplished and at the conclusion of the snow event, the crews will continue onto priority 2 level local roads. An event this size or larger shall indicate the need to run 12 hour operations. This activity will normally take approximately 72 hours to complete all routes.
    • During a snow event with total accumulation of 8-12 inches, crews will deploy as stated above for events over 4 inches. This activity will take approximately 96 hours to complete.
    • During a snow event with total accumulation over 12 inches, crews will deploy as stated above for events of 4 inches. This activity will take approximately 120 hours to complete.

For the completion time given for each situation above, this time reflects a single event. Should plowing operations not be finished prior to the beginning of a new event, the time-line for maintenance operations shall be reset. Also, these times are reflective of the anticipated man power and equipment available to the road division. Should this change, these times will be adjusted.

Performance measurement and program effectiveness assessment

Performance during and immediately following individual storm events will be periodically monitored to ensure that road crews are providing safe roads at safe speeds and performing snow and ice removal in accordance with the established priorities as listed above. To monitor performance, the following information, will be reviewed by the DPW Director and the Road Division Superintendent annually to gage the effectiveness of the program.

  • Material usage (salt and/or sand)
  • Condition of travel lanes during and after snow events
  • Storm data (precipitations, air temperature, road surface temperature, wind speed, etc.)
  • Plowing frequency
  • Time required to complete snow event

Overall performance during and following the winter season will be measured by monitoring material usage, labor cost, and equipment cost with respect to the number of lane miles maintained and the number of storm events addressed.

Materials and applications procedures

The materials in this section are those that are used by the Road Division for snow and ice control on major and local streets within the City of Burton. This section describes the general purpose of each material, the typical use that is expected under normal conditions, and the application procedure. Choice of materials will depend on experienced consideration of the following variables: pavement temperature, nature of the particular snow and ice event, forecasted storm conditions, air temperature, wind speed, traffic volume, time of day or year, and the availability of resources.

Salt (NaCL)
Salt is the primary material used on the roadways within the City of Burton. Salt is used to prevent the bonding of snow and ice to the pavement surface and to melt snow and ice that cannot be removed by plowing.   Unless salt is pre-wetted with a liquid having a lower working temperature than sodium chloride, the lowest working temperature is approximately 15 degrees F (Fahrenheit).

Application rates shall normally be selected from the "MDOT Winter Maintenance Application Rates: (Solids)" (Appendix-a), and shall be based upon the pavement temperature, snow and ice conditions encountered and anticipated trends. Initial applications should be normally 25% higher than the average rate indicated by the chart. Generally, salt will be used when the pavement temperatures are 15 degrees F or higher. When pavement temperatures are less than 15 degrees F and not rising, winter sand may be used when necessary for temporary traction. During cold storms, when pavements are dry and the snow is blowing off the travel lanes the application of salt or winter sand is to be avoided for as long as possible since it will hasten the formation of ice on the pavement.

Winter sand
Winter sand shall consist of coarse, clean, sharp sand or other granular material. Sand is generally used to provide traction at intersections and corners during icy conditions. When conditions warrant, salt may be mixed with sand to break the bond between the ice pack and road surface.  The City of Burton uses sand treated with chloride. Sand should generally be used on the following situations:

  • Curves and intersections where temporary traction is necessary
  • Situations where salt will not work fast enough (for example at accident scenes)
  • Icy gravel roads