Town’s Snow Removal Team Clears More Than 80 Miles Of Streets, Sidewalks And Trails
With twice the area to cover and fewer employees than in 1990, the Town’s Public Works Department has refined its snow removal program to efficiently serve the entire community. All 55.5 miles of streets, 12.5 miles of sidewalks, 12 miles of trails and 15 parking lots across Town are cleared by the snow removal team of just 14 employees. Another eight people serve as reserve drivers. Overall, the team consists of employees from Streets, Parks, Water, Special Events, Light and Power, I.T., Police and Fleet.
State-managed highways U.S. 34, U.S. 36 and CO Hwy 7 are plowed by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). This includes Elkhorn Avenue. All other streets within Town limits are plowed by the Town. The team is called to action when there are two inches of snow on the ground. Depending on conditions, plowing begins between 4:00 and 7:00 a.m. Drivers make a first pass along each route, which takes approximately five hours, and then make additional passes as needed. If snowfall ends, drivers generally stop plowing by 3:30 p.m.
Emergency routes take first priority, including streets that provide access to hospitals and schools, downtown streets including MacGregor Avenue, Big Horn Drive and Riverside Drive, as well as Peak View Drive, Scott Avenue and streets that must remain accessible for a police or fire emergency.
While many communities do not plow residential streets or prioritize them last, the Town of Estes Park plows approximately 225 residential streets within Town limits after emergency routes are clear. Plows deposit a ridge of snow at driveways. With several thousand driveways along the Town’s residential routes, the team is unable to clear driveways on private property without compromising service to the rest of the community. Residents who are unable to clear their own driveways are encouraged to contact local private contractors who provide this service.
Plow drivers appreciate the cooperation of motorists as plows are less maneuverable than other vehicles. When plows begin clearing snow, any vehicles parked along designated snow routes will be towed at the owner’s expense; signs are posted along these routes. Downtown business owners are responsible for clearing sidewalks in front of their businesses. For more information, please contact the Town of Estes Park Public Works Department at 970-577-3588. To receive Town news in your e-mail inbox, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.