Snow & Ice Management
The Street-Traffic Division maintains 656 miles of streets and alleys within the City of Billings. Arterial and collector streets are addressed based on priority assessments during each snow weather event. Each snow weather event will effect different street conditions due to differences in temperature, moisture, wind, duration and overall volume of accumulation. It is our goal to allow for safe traffic movement during and after all snow storms.
Residential streets are grouped into designated zone areas to assist in the coordination of snow plowing activities. Routes are plowed in clockwise sequence, beginning in a different zone different zone with each snow weather event as determined by need, weather patterns and previous plowing activities. Follow us on Facebook for updates about plow activity and location updates. We ask that when you see notice of plows entering the area ahead of your location, that you move any vehicles that are parked in the street. Each area takes approximately 24 hours to complete, depending on conditions and access.
Drivers should use caution when traveling near snow plowing equipment that is in operation. Please, use reduced speed and allow the City Operator plenty of room to maneuver.
Reporting a Problem Area
If you would like to report a problem area that may require sanding or plowing, please call the Street / Traffic Division at 406-657-8250 or the Complaint Hotline at 406-657-8267.
During the winter, the Street-Traffic Division monitors street conditions on a 24-hour basis. Day or night, when there is significant existing accumulation from a snow weather event with a forecast of continuing accumulation, crews begin plowing and will continue to plow and sand as needed.
A combination of plowing, sanding and deicing tactics are used to allow the safest possible driving conditions. Maintaining traction is the key to safe traffic flow during the winter months. With temperatures continually fluctuating, causing melting and freezing conditions, sanding is a vital part of our winter operation. Deicing material is mixed with sand to keep the sand from freezing.Once plowing activities are completed, sanding procedures will begin in designated locations as needed. Designated areas include school crosswalks, controlled intersections, curves, bridges and hills. During storm activities, liquid deice is applied to selected arterials, collector streets, and street intersections to prevent snow from bonding to the pavement. Liquid deicing also to provide better traction and to aids in snow removal efforts.
In high traffic through streets were snow accumulation can affect street capacity, snow removal may be required.
The City accomplishes this maintenance with limited resources financed through the City’s Street Maintenance Fund. These funds are collected through the tax statements. The fees for this program make up about $8.00 of the approximately $64.00 in fees for Street-Traffic Services paid each year by property owners.
During a severe snow storm, the City Administrator may declare a snow emergency. During a snow emergency the City requests that people do not park vehicles on any designated through street, and refrain from traveling.
Stalled vehicles in the street are difficult to see and may delay emergency vehicles. Vehicles parked along the side may prohibit snow removal and deter emergency vehicle access. The City may remove these vehicles if conditions warrant.
The City operates three motor graders, eleven 5-yard sander / plows, seven 10-yard sander / plows and three de-icing units.