Due to the abundance of winter weather this season, the Linn County Secondary Road Department would like to remind residents of their hours of operation, snow routes, and snow and ice ordinance and policy.
Snow removal routes on Linn County secondary roads are prioritized by traffic count and designated as Priority Routes and Standard Routes. There are 21 Priority Routes served by 21 snowplows and plow operators. There are 41 Standard Routes served by 30 snowplows, 11 motor graders, and their operators. The 30 snowplows for the Standard Routes includes the 21 plows and operators from the Priority Routes. Linn County has approximately 1,200 miles of secondary roads, which is roughly the equivalent of driving from Linn County to Nashville and back.
Maps of the Priority and Standard Routes and Linn County’s snow and ice ordinance and policy are available on Linn County’s website at www.LinnCounty.org/Engineer or at the Engineer’s Office, 1888 County Home Road, Marion.
Thursday's forecast calls for strong winds and blizzard-like conditions. This will create significant drifting issues on roads, especially in the rural areas even when the plows are out. Please use caution while driving and allow patience as each motor grader operator has approximately 140 miles of roads to plow at approximately 10 mph.
Important points of the ordinance and policy include:
- Regular hours of operation for the Secondary Road Department are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. These hours may be extended during a snow event to 4 a.m. - 6 p.m. If it snows more than one inch on a Saturday or Sunday, the maximum hours of operation are 4 a.m. – 6 p.m. Linn County does not operate outside of these maximum hours of operation except in the case of assisting emergency personnel or a declared emergency by the Board of Supervisors or Governor.
- Hard surface roads are given priority during and following snow events.
- Rock roads are plowed to provide access to the hard-surface system. Rock roads are opened to one-lane travel as soon as practicable during regular County operating hours. Road crews attempt to open rock roads to travel within two or three days following the snow event; this is not always possible during heavy snow with wind, as roads quickly drift closed.
- Linn County does not have a bare or dry pavement policy. Crews apply salt and sand to hard surfaced roads to provide grit and help clear the surface when practicable, particularly on hills, curves, and intersections.
- No parking is allowed on secondary roads for 48 hours following a winter weather event when snow or ice accumulation exceeds 1 inch.
- For resident and traffic emergencies, call 911. Residents are encouraged to keep sufficient supplies of food and fuel on hand to avoid becoming an emergency.
Residents can assist the Secondary Road Department in snow removal efforts by doing the following:
- Clear snow from private driveways to the right hand side when facing the street. This will minimize the amount of snow pushed back into the driveway as the plow clears snow from the road coming from the left. Do not clear snow from a driveway by pushing it across the street to the opposite ditch.
- Allow clear access to mailboxes by removing snow from the shoulder in front of it. Crews try to plow as close as they can, but often times it is not close enough to allow access.
It is important to remember each winter storm has individual characteristics and road crews respond accordingly. In addition, the Secondary Road Department will from time to time test and evaluate various new products, equipment, and methods in order to develop strategies for improving effectiveness and response to winter driving conditions. For these reasons, level of service will not be exactly the same from one road to the next, nor from one storm to the next.
Snow Response Updates
Linn County provides text and email updates to its response to snow events. Subscribe to receive the updates by visiting www.linncounty.org/notifyme.