Madison should expect slippery roads into next week, Streets Division warns

Dane Co. officials giving a live update on the coming storm
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 1:38 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2022 at 5:09 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison drivers should expect to find slippery and snow-covered roads for days after this week’s impending winter weather system passes, the city’s Streets Division warned on the eve of the storm’s arrival.

“Streets Division crews will be out, but everyone who elects to be on the roads should anticipate snow-covered and slippery roads until sometime next week,” Streets Superintendent Charlie Romines wrote in a statement released early Wednesday afternoon. (emphasis added)

Romines laid out the city’s battle plan for combatting the heavy snow, high winds, and possible blizzard-like conditions moving into the region. He explained the first plows will hit the streets when the first flakes start falling Wednesday night and they will focus on the city’s salt routes throughout the storm. They will be clearing the roads and spreading salt as needed, he continued, noting that falling temperatures will reach the point that salt will no longer work. At that point, they will start laying sand on the main streets.

“The Streets Division will continue to work to keep these roads open, but considering the nature of this wind, you should anticipate encountering covered over roads,” Romines wrote.

He cautioned drivers that the sand will provide some traction, but it won’t melt the ice. Therefore, the city’s main roads will be snow covered and slippery in that time. Romines added that he expects them to stay that way until after Christmas.

“Difficult and slippery” were the words Romines used to describe what residential roads will be like through Thursday. He pointed out the city will not launch a citywide plow until there are three or more inches of snow on the roads and the storm is dying down. With far more than three inches predicted, Romines wrote he expects a citywide plow to commence on Thursday. More updates about that will be made available as they are determined.

Even when the snow lets up, the work for snowplow drivers (and the risks for drivers) does not, the Streets Department explained. High winds on Friday, and possibly into Saturday will push that already cleared snow back into the streets and will reduce visibility. Romines expects those conditions will be particularly bad near the lakes.

The Streets Division staff plans to continue offering updates on road conditions and its plowing efforts throughout the storm.

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