General Snow & Ice Control Operations

Ice & Snow Control Program
The main priority of our snow and ice control program is to allocate manpower, equipment, and materials to provide an “Open Road” objective, which allows safe access and travel on our main arteries. An open road objective provides that the street should be passable with only a reasonable amount of inconvenience, based upon the actual storm conditions, and should provide a safe driving surface, if reasonable driving caution is taken considering weather conditions. An open road objective should not be confused with a “Bare Pavement” objective.

Road Salting
The Department of Public Works will begin salting roadways when precipitation, either snow or ice, begins to accumulate and cause unsafe traveling conditions. Crews will stop salting and begin an all out plowing operations whenever an inch and 1 half (1 ½”) of snow has accumulated on paved surfaces.

Salting all Village streets typically takes 2 hours to complete with an average of 45 tons per cycle. Plowing operations typically take 6 hours to complete. No 2 snowstorm events are the same and operations will change accordingly.

The Village participates in the state bid contract for salt along with most of the agencies in northern Illinois. We place our order in early spring for the winter season. Our average yearly salt use over the past 5 years is 800 to 1,000 tons; we average 20 events per season. Our average snow fall is 39 inches per season.

About Road Salt

Salt is the best product available for melting snow and ice. It is most effective at 25 degrees Fahrenheit or above. When temperatures are less than 25 degrees liquid calcium chloride is added to stimulate the melting process. The lower the temperature the less effective salt becomes. Traffic also stimulates the melting process, which is why less traveled streets remain slick and snow covered while roadways with higher traffic volumes are clear.

Salt and sodium based products are not friendly to the environment causing damage to lawns, trees, shrubs, streams and rivers. We continue to look for better less destructive products for snow and ice control. Many agencies are applying a mixer of 20% beet extract and 80% calcium chloride prior to snow events. This is called pre-wetting and has been effective for some applications. With the assistance from the city of WoodDale we will test pre-wetting on the 400 blocks of Prospect Avenue and Broker Avenue this winter. This will help us decide weather pre-wetting is a viable option for us in the future.

Snow Removal
Whenever 1 ½ inches of snow has accumulated and snow is still falling, the Village begins an all-out plowing effort. Itasca has established a priority plowing system for the more than 180 miles of plowing lanes so main traffic routes are plowed first. Itasca’s goal is to clear every street within 6 hours after the snow has stopped falling, but heavier snows often take longer to clear.

Arterial, main streets and safety sensitive areas (police/fire) are cleared first. Side-streets, cul-de-sacs, alleys, dead ends, and parking lots are cleared next. Cul-de-sacs are more difficult to clear than through streets as there is less space in the parkways to dump snow without burying driveways, mailboxes, and fire hydrants.

The Village of Itasca plows most of the streets within the village limits: however, there are a number of roads that are the responsibility of other government agencies. Irving Park Road & Rohlwing Road are IDOT’s and Prospect Avenue & Thorndale Avenue are DuPage County’s right of way.

The size of our snow and ice control operation, in terms of equipment and drivers, is dependent upon snow accumulation and the intensity of the snowstorm. When plowing operations start we utilize all available personnel from the department including, the utility/water and waste water divisions, 8 to 12 drivers typically.

We use:
4 - 2 ½ ton dump trucks with 11 foot plow, salt and liquid calcium chloride
1 - 2 ½ ton dump truck with 11 foot plow and salt only
3 - 1 ton dump trucks with 9 foot plows and salt only
6 - Pick-up trucks with 8 foot plow not salt capable

Village Division Areas
We divide the village into 4 areas, South, North, Central Manufacturing District (CMD) and Hamilton areas. With some exceptions Irving Park Road divides the North and South sections in the residential area. The CMD section is north of Irving Park Road west of I-290. The Hamilton area includes Park and Pierce Road, Spring Lake Business Park, Medinah in the Woods. One 2 ½ ton dump truck is assigned to each area with support from the smaller plow trucks.

The holiday season is right around the corner and that means snow. Please make sure you vehicle is working properly by checking your tires, windshield washer fluid, wipers, battery, etc. Please use caution when driving in poor conditions and have a happy and safe holiday.

If you have questions or special needs please contact us at 630-773-2455.