Snow and Ice Policy

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Prepared by:  Scott Hecht, Public Works Director
Supersedes:  5/26/2005
Adopted by Council:  10/30/14
Effective:  10/30/14


To adopt an official policy for the Town of Cary pertaining to the expeditious removal of snow and applications of abrasives on State and Town maintained roadways. 


This policy, upon adoption by the Town Council, shall establish that the removal of snow and abrasive application on roadways, within the police jurisdiction of the Town, is under the general supervision of the Public Works Director. 


The goal of snow and ice removal operations is to safely maintain the Town’s emergency response capabilities and strive to secure a passable road network for citizens throughout inclement weather events. Ultimately, the plan strives to return the Town to pre-event conditions in the shortest time frame possible. 

Snow Plowing Priorities for Roadways 

Priority #1: Main Thoroughfares: The major streets (NC Secondary Roads) upon which the majority of traffic flows into, out of, and around the Town.  

Priority #2: Primary Streets within Subdivisions: The major streets which lead into and/or out of a subdivision and connect to a thoroughfare.  

Priority #3: Neighborhood Through Streets: The streets within a subdivision that connect with other streets.

Priority #4: Cul-de-sacs.

Snow Plowing Procedures 

Winter storm assets: 

  • Large plows (graders and tandem snow plows)
  • Mid-size plows (single axle snow plows)
  • Small plows (pick-up truck plows, backhoes and loaders)

During snow events, the Public Works Director shall initially concentrate large- and mid-size plow assets on thoroughfares (e.g., Cary Parkway, Maynard Road, Kildaire Farm Road, Highway 55, Davis Drive, Tryon Road, Lochmere Drive) within the Town. 

Once the majority of the travel lanes on the thoroughfares are cleared, the mid-size plowing assets shall be redeployed to primary streets within subdivisions (e.g., Lochside Drive, Ralph Drive, Queensferry Road, and Creek Park Drive). Special emphasis shall be paid to hilly (e.g., Birkhaven Drive and Loch Highlands Drive) and historically icy (e.g., Queensferry Road and Lake Pine Drive) areas. 

After all the primary streets within subdivisions are cleared, the mid-size plows are released onto neighborhood through streets, making more cul-de-sacs accessible for small plows. Small plows, once all neighborhood through streets are cleared, are sent into cul-de-sacs and work until all streets are “returned to pre-event conditions.”  

The small plow fleet will initially be assigned to clearing emergency response assets (e.g., Fire, Police, EMS station ramps). Once precipitation has stopped, the fleet will be redeployed to neighborhood through streets and cul-de-sacs. Small plow fleet will clear only one vehicle width. The small plow fleet will be deployed into areas where routine services (e.g., solid waste collection) have been disrupted the longest. 

Procedures for Countering Slippery Roadways 

The use of a sand/salt mixture shall be used to assist in the safe movement of traffic on roadways. Calcium Chloride may be added to this mixture, or applied in a brine solution directly if the temperature is forecasted to be below 25 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time.  

Priorities for application of abrasives: 

Priority #1:     Bridges and intersections on main thoroughfares; 

Priority #2:     Fire, Police, EMS station ramps; 

Priority #3:     Hills and bridges on primary streets within subdivisions and historically icy areas; 

Priority #4:     Hills and bridges on neighborhood through streets 

Priority #5:     Hills on cul-de-sacs