From City of Madison:
The Streets Division will plow all City of Madison Streets today, January 19. Streets Division staff will assess the road conditions and make a determination later today if a snow emergency declaration is necessary. The Streets Division crews along with heavy equipment contractors began plowing all city streets at 6:00am. All Madison streets should have their initial plowing within 14 to 16 hours.
Those on the roads throughout the day should anticipate encountering slippery road conditions on all city streets as Streets Division crews continue their work.
Crews have been maintaining the main thoroughfares that comprise the salt route network throughout the night. Overnight temperatures dipped below 20 degrees. When temperatures are this cold, salt becomes ineffective at the rate the Streets Division spreads it. In response to these conditions, during the overnight hours Streets crews stopped using salt and began spreading sand for traction on the salt routes.
Therefore, the main thoroughfares of Madison will still have snow on them and they will remain snow-covered until temperatures warm to the point where salt will be effective again.
All roadways users are reminded to make good choices. Be slow. Be alert. And be patient when on the roads today. Plan for extra travel time in order to arrive to their destinations on time. And anticipate needing extra stopping distance. Slick conditions persist throughout the entire city.
Since the Streets Division will be plowing during the day, it is probable travelers will encounter snowplows working to clear the roads. Be sure to give the operators plenty of space as they work to make the roads safe.
Citywide plowing is a slow process that can take 14 to 16 hours to complete. Roadway users should expect encountering some residential areas that have not yet been plowed as they drive through the city today.
When you are on the roads during plowing operations, it is common to encounter temporary windrows blocking side streets as crews loop through neighborhoods plowing the snow back to the curb. A windrow is the pile of snow that naturally falls off the snowplow blade. As crews loop through the streets, they will push these windrows back to the curb.
Since all Madison streets will be plowed today, residents will find their street plowed and driveway apron blocked with snow. Snow in the driveway apron is a regular occurrence during plowing. Plow trucks follow the curb line, and their plow blades are angled toward the curb as well in order to push snow out of the street. Snow builds on the plow blade as they drive forward since the curb does not allow snow to fall off the blade. Gaps in the curb created by driveway aprons means snow falls off the blade and into the apron gap.