Madison citywide plow starts at midnight, but roads will get worse

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 1:42 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison’s citywide plowing effort will start at midnight, the City’s Streets Division announced Thursday afternoon. The agency is asking drivers to find off-street parking during the operation to offer snowplow drivers a clear path to work.

For the rest of the afternoon and evening, the Streets Division’s efforts will focus on treating the main thoroughfares. In addition to plowing, plow drivers will also spread sand where needed.

Earlier in the day, the agency indicated temperatures had fallen to the point where salt would no longer be effective, and it would switch to using sand on hills, curves, and intersections. While sand can help provide traction, it does not melt the snow and ice, therefore the roads will likely remain snow-covered into next week.

Despite the preparations for a citywide plow getting underway, Streets Superintendent Charlie Romines warned drivers that road conditions will likely get worse, not better. He explained the high winds moving into the area, which have already prompted blizzard warnings in some parts of the state, will lead to drifting and blowing snow.

“Main routes plowed once may become quickly covered over again and visibility will be limited,” he continued. “If you must be on the roads tonight, make good choices. Be slow. Be patient. Stay alert.”

Romines cautioned the citywide plow will likely continue through Friday because plows are expected to need to plow many roads multiple times to clear previously plowed snow that gets blown back into the roadway.

As plows concentrate on the roads, bus stops and pathways will likely be covered in snow by the same high winds. The Streets Division urges anyone who relies on the bus stops or paths to exercise extreme caution, pointing out that wind chills overnight are expected to dip into the -30° range. The City offers tips for bracing for cold conditions here.

Romines noted that his agency has shut down its drop off sites on Thursday and Friday in order to enlist more people to battle the potential blizzard. Elsewhere across the city, trash collection services were suspended on Friday and city office buildings will close at two o’clock and remain closed throughout Friday as its employees switch to virtual work.

Click here to download the NBC15 News app or our NBC15 First Alert weather app.