The Linn County Secondary Road Department is prepared for the 2015-16 winter season. Part of preparation is sharing information with residents about the Secondary Road Department’s hours of operation and snow and ice ordinance.
The complete Linn County snow and ice ordinance is available on Linn County’s website at www.linncounty.org/engineer or at the Engineer’s Office, 1888 County Home Road, Marion.
Important points of the ordinance 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.
• Linn County does not have a bare or dry pavement policy. Salt and sand are applied to hard surfaced roads to provide grit and help clear the surface when practicable, particularly on hills, curves and intersections.
• 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. We 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.
• Resident and traffic emergencies are addressed by calling 911. Residents are encouraged to keep sufficient supplies of food and fuel on hand to avoid becoming an emergency.
It is important to remember each storm has individual characteristics and must be dealt with 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.
Linn County will provide updates to its response to snow events through the Notify Me service on the county’s website. To receive the updates via email or text message, visit www.linncounty.org/notifyme to subscribe.
Winter Driving Safety Tips
• Remember that speed limits are meant for dry roads, not roads covered in snow and ice. Reduce your speed and increase your following distance as road conditions and visibility worsen.
• Be cautious on bridges and overpasses as they are commonly the first areas to become icy.
• Avoid passing snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers may have limited visibility, and the road in front of them may be worse than the road behind.
• Use caution when snow banks limit your view of oncoming traffic.
• Monitor road and weather conditions by checking local news stations or Internet traffic and weather sites.
• Notify the Road Department (319-892-6400) if you are forced to abandon your vehicle in or along a county road. This may assist with your retrieval of the vehicle and reduce negative effect on the snow response.
• Carrying winter survival materials is a good idea at all times. It is particularly important in heavy snow events. When staying with your vehicle, you need a method to signal for assistance. Winter kits should include bright flagging and flashlight or emergency beacon.