After several snowfalls over the last few days, the St. Louis County Public Works Department is reminding property owners that when clearing snow from their driveways, it is illegal to push or dump snow into the roadway.
Road crews have seen numerous instances this winter of homeowners or private contractors plowing driveways and leaving piles of snow in the street. Even when the bulk of the snow is pushed across the street, it’s often the windrows — the snow that’s left behind in a row after it falls off the side of the plow blade — that becomes a hazard for motorists. Just a couple inches of snow is enough to cause a car to lose control and possibly cause an accident.
“We get it that there’s an irony in our message. People love to complain when snow plows leave snow at the end of their driveways, and now we’re saying don’t push snow into the street,” said Michael Lopac, St. Louis County’s Highway Division Superintendent. “But this is a real safety issue. It’s not that it creates a problem for our snow plow operators. It’s creating a hazard for the public.”
The Public Works Department also reminds motorists to leave extra room when driving near snow plows.
“If our plows are out, it’s because road conditions are less than ideal. And we’re pushing large amounts of snow, which can affect visibility,” said Lopac. “So we’re asking people to not get too close, be patient and remember we’re all in this together. We’re doing the best we can.”
St. Louis County Public Works is responsible for maintaining 3,000 miles of roads and 600 bridges spread across 7,000 square miles. To learn more, visit stlouiscountymn.gov/publicworks or call (218) 625-3830.