Things You Didn’t Know About Mesa County’s Snow Removal Process
Contrary to popular belief, Mesa County does have snowplows - and there is a definite plan for snow removal when Grand Valley snowstorms hit.
Mesa County Has 24-Hour Snow Removal During and After Storms
Grand Junction typically only gets about 15 inches of snow a year - and that usually comes in relatively small amounts at a time. While Mesa County's need for snow removal may not occur frequently, there are definitely times through the winter months when snow removal is necessary to facilitate safe travel for Mesa County residents.
You might not have realized that snowplow crews maintain 24-hour snow removal coverage during and after storms until near normal driving conditions are restored. Mesa County uses 34 trucks and 4 one-ton trucks to plow paved roads and 13 graders to plow gravel and dirt roads.
641 Miles of Paved Roads Need To Be Plowed
Mesa County crews plow 641 miles of paved roads, 589, of which, are considered a priority and need to be cleared the first day. The county has designated 144 miles of gravel and dirt roads as a priority.
2 a.m Wake-Up Call
Snowplowing usually starts at 2 a.m. and continues until all major roads and bus routes are clear of ice and snow. The county does not plow roads and streets within incorporated cities. Plowing is not done in subdivisions because there is generally no place to put the snow that is plowed. The city of Grand Junction will plow main roads but not residential streets.
One of the things road crews do is apply a sand and salt mixture to roads for better traction and to facilitate ice melting. The city will use snowplows only when snow is significant enough and melting agents don't work well.
Road Work Takes Time
Unfortunately, the entire process doesn't happen magically all at once - and oftentimes motorists have to deal with hazardous conditions before snowplow crews have had a chance to do their work - and that is when accidents tend to happen. While we do count on the county's road crews to make our roads as safe as possible, it remains the responsibility of Grand Valley motorists to exercise caution and common sense when traveling on ice and snow-covered roads.
Snowplows Help, But Motorists Have Some Responsibility
No doubt you have seen motorists that are driving way too fast for conditions - and in the process tempting fate. On an icy road, a car can suddenly and without warning be out of control.
Grand Junction may not get a lot of ice and snow, but, when it does, there is always potential for bad things to happen. Minimal snow and ice occurrences do not minimize the danger or reduce the need for caution. It's amazing what a difference it makes when people simply reduce their speed during winter driving conditions.
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