City of Galena

The City of Galena Public Works Department routinely provides snow and ice control services on city streets and city sidewalks. This work is performed following a priority pattern designed to provide service to the greatest number of motorists and pedestrians where the need is the most crucial.  The city does not maintain Highway 20 or county primary roads such as Stagecoach Trail, Blackjack Road, Ferry Landing Road, Council Hill Road and Buckhill Road. These streets are maintained by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Jo Daviess County, or the underlying township.


Priorities for Snow Plowing and Ice Control Service on City Streets

  1. Major streets such as Main Street, Commerce Street, Franklin Street, Gear Street and Park Avenue. 

  2. Local streets with steep grades and sharp curves. 

  3. The remainder of the local residential streets, alleys, dead ends and parking lots.


The city has a “Bare Pavement “policy for number “1” and “2” priority streets.  This means that these streets will be plowed and salted to bare pavement within 24 hours of a snow or ice event, even if it requires overtime for city personnel to do so.  The attack plan for snow removal and ice control efforts will vary considerably depending on the storm event.  The following are general guidelines:

  1. Ice:  A sleet storm would be primarily an ice control operation involving the spreading of salt, gravel, and sand.  Streets would be addressed based on the priority system with every effort to make travel as safe as possible. 

  2. Snow Less than 4 Inches:  A less than 4 inch snowfall would cause spreader and plow operators to concentrate on number ‘1” and ‘2” priority streets.  Number “3” priority streets may not be immediately plowed, but would be addressed early in the snowfall.  Number ‘3” priority streets would be salted on these small events. 

  3. Snow More Than 4 Inches:  During large snow events of more that 4 inches, operators would concentrate on number “1” and ‘2” priority street with an ongoing effort to keep them open during the snow event.  Number “3” priority streets would be plowed with less frequency and may not easily travelled during and soon after the snowfall.


Overtime plowing and ice control would begin on flatter local street (priority “3”) once the accumulations reach approximately 4 inches and the major streets are completed.  City parking lots generally are plowed through the night or early in the morning before stores are open.  It is extremely difficult to plow parking lots during the day when they are parked full or partially full, so this is avoided unless absolutely necessary. 

In the downtown and on narrow priority streets such as Bench and Franklin, snow would be removed with loaders and trucks when all streets have been satisfactorily cleared. Snow removal activities would be posted in advance with signs on the effected streets.


Use of Road Salt

To effectively provide snow and ice control, the city uses snow plowing in conjunction with the application of road salt.  As a general rule, rock chips and/or sand are mixed with salt on a 5:1 ratio (‘salt mixture”).  In addition to being cost effective, this mixture increases traction during ice storms or periods of extreme cold. Mixing salt with abrasives is also intended to minimize any potential negative environmental impacts of applying salt. 

The City of Galena uses a salt mixture on number “1” and “2” priority streets (bare pavement policy streets). In addition, City crews use a salt mixture on intersections, curves and hills on number “3” priority streets. Salt will not be used on any city pedestrian bridges, sidewalks or stairways in order to prevent accelerated deterioration of surfaces and metal superstructures. Only synthetic deicers or sand will be used on pedestrian surfaces. This managed use of salt and deicer placement, together with timely snow plowing efforts will continue to promote safe travel on City streets and sidewalks during the winter months while helping to diminish a potential risk to the environment associated with salt usage.


Resident Responsibilities

Residents and businesses should remember to clear their sidewalks by noon of the day following a snow or ice event. Sidewalks must be kept free of snow and ice so as to allow persons to use the sidewalks in a safe and commodious manner. City’s ordinance prohibits you or your contractor from pushing snow or ice across or into city streets. This is dangerous and is an illegal activity, which may result in a fine to the property owner or contractor.

Many times the Public Works Department receives calls regarding snowplow trucks depositing snow at the end of driveways or in front of mailboxes. This is a reality of snow plowing, and it cannot be avoided. If our roads are to be plowed, the snow must be pushed to the side of the road.  If you have a neighbor who is unable to remove the snow from their driveway or in front of their mailbox, please assist them, as the city does not have the resources or the manpower to clear drive approaches or mailboxes.

Even with the city’s best efforts, there may be instances when travel by automobile in the city is not possible. We ask for your understanding and cooperation as our Public Works crew performs the critical and demanding work of keeping our streets and sidewalks open and safe during the winter.


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