The City of Prior Lake maintains nearly 100 miles of local streets and utilizes a variety of maintenance methods including bituminous patching, crack sealing, seal coating and overlaying to maximize the life of streets. Many of Prior Lake's streets were built in the 70s and 80s and are showing substantial wear due to older construction methods and the soils underneath. The City is committed to reconstructing these streets. Until that time, the city will utilize available funding to keep them safe and useable.
The Public Works Operations Manual defines street maintenance activities, and the street sign, sidewalk and trail inspection, street sweeping and winter maintenance policies. It outlines snow and ice control objectives and procedures as established by the City of Prior Lake and information on priority snow routes and proper mailbox placement to protect it from the snow plows (see Winter Operations and Show Control below). Click here to view the Winter Maintenance Policies found within the Public Works Operations Manual.
Maintenance and construction workers are vulnerable when working on streets. Please use care and patience when maneuvering around or through construction zones. For questions regarding scheduled projects, contact Public Works at (952) 447-9800 or visit the Street and Utility Projects page.
|Click the maps below for larger document.
|Winter Operations and Snow Control
Every winter storm has different precipitation, temperatures and wind fluctuations, and the duration of each has an impact on road conditions and how the City’s snow and ice control operations are implemented.
The maintenance supervisor uses the following criteria when deciding how to combat the snow and ice:
- Air and pavement temperatures
- Anticipated precipitation and type (i.e. snow, sleet, frost)
- Drifting of snow
- Icy conditions
- Time of snowfall in relation to heavy use of streets
- Duration of the winter weather event
The City uses a proactive approach of applying a liquid brine solution prior to an impending snowfall or frost event. This practice prevents the snow or frost from bonding or compacting to the pavement surface thus providing vehicles direct contact to the pavement surface when traveling the streets. The product in most cases is salt brine, which is chloride (salt) diluted to a 23% solution with water. In relevant terms, one gallon of brine consists of two pounds of salt. The City also uses additional environmentally-friendly products to enhance the properties of the brine without adding chlorides. The liquid treatments are typically more effective at ice control for precipitation depths less than 0.5” and are more economical than dry salt products. Anti-Icing operations may occur 48 hours in advance of an approaching storm, anticipated frost or prior to weekends in which forecasts call for some form of precipitation. The City does maintain a supply of granular salt for those times that conditions are beyond the treatment capacity of the liquid methods and for critical areas.
Plowing operations greatly depend on the duration of a snow event, depth of snow fall, temperature and form of precipitation. No two storms are the same so plowing operations are adjusted accordingly. The following are the City's general guidelines when determining how to plow snow:
For events with heavy accumulations over 12 hours or more, the City may use shifts to keep plows on the road to reasonably maintain open travel lanes on priority routes while the snow is still accumulating. In these cases, it may take up to 12 hours after the snow has stopped to clear City streets. Snow removal may be conducted on a 24-hour basis, which may result in snow removal equipment being operated in residential areas during the evening, night and early morning hours. Due to safety concerns for the plow operators and the public, operations may be terminated after 10-12 hours to allow personnel adequate time for rest. For smaller storms, the City may wait until the snow accumulations have ceased before beginning plowing operations to ensure complete snow removals.
Streets are generally plowed with a single pass in each direction first. Once all the roads on a route have been opened up, a second pass is made “winging” the snow from the street onto the boulevard storage area. These widening and clean-up operations may continue immediately, or on the following working day, depending on the circumstances. During seasons with extreme snowfall, the process of clearing the streets may be delayed, and it may not be reasonably possible to completely clear the streets of snow.
Cul-de-sacs are plowed with one pass along the curb to provide an outlet for the driveways, with snow being piled in the middle of the cul-de-sac, where possible. Crews will clean up the cul-de-sac later that day, or the following work day, as time permits. Snow removal will only occur when no storage space is available in the cul-de-sac area.
The downtown area will be plowed from curb to curb with the snow pushed into piles where feasible. Crews will remove the snow piles during non-business hours.
Snow Plowing Priorities
The City has categorized City streets, facilities, trails, sidewalks and recreational facilities based on the function, use volume, and importance to the welfare of the community.
Priority 1 - Streets classified as “Snow Plow Routes” are plowed first. These are high volume streets, which connect major sections of the City and provide access for emergency fire, police and medical services. The “Priority Snow Plow Routes” map above will show these streets and Daytime Snow Emergency Routes. Non-street facilities classified as “High” Priority include the Fire Halls, Downtown and pedestrian routes for schools and public safety.
Priority 2 - Streets providing access to schools and commercial businesses
Priority 3 - Low volume residential streets and alleys
Priority 4 - Medium priority non-street facilities
Priority 5 - Low priority non-street facilities
Snowplow Safety Tips
The City utilizes a variety of equipment to complete the snow and ice control operations. These vehicles are equipped with plows, tanks and applicators to efficiently remove snow and ice but can impact the field of vision of the operator. Although operators do take care to watch for traffic around them, drivers are asked to stay back at least 200 feet from the rear of the snow plow. Snow plows make frequent stops and also make three-point turns which require the vehicle to back up. If a plow stops in front of you please use caution when passing to ensure the operator can see you. Staying back at least 200 ft. allows the operator to see and react to other vehicles around them.
If a city a city snowplow damages your mailbox or other property, contact the Public Works Department at (952) 447-9800. In most cases, the City will replace the mailbox in the spring with a 4x4 Cedar Post and mailbox (or $50), but does not replace ornamental or structural mailboxes of stone or concrete in the right of way, reserving the right to use that property for snow storage. Click here for the Mail Box Regulations.
It is possible for a snowplow to skip or jump over a curb or beyond the pavement catching the underlying sod. The City evaluates the curb and road lines in the spring and will make appropriate repairs. If you wish to mark your curb markers are available at the Maintenance Center.
Clearing Driveways and Sidewalks
Property owners are required to clear snow from their driveways and sidewalks adjacent to the property. This is to provide a clear path for pedestrians and children walking to school. You may have to clear the driveway a second time after your street has been plowed. Placing snow in the street is prohibited.
Winter Parking Restrictions
In order to expedite the prompt and efficient removal of snow from City streets, it is unlawful for any person to park any vehicle on any street within the city between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. from Nov. 1 until March 31. It is also unlawful to park any vehicle at all other times following a continuous or intermittent snowfall with an accumulation of two or more inches, or during a snow emergency, until the snow has been plowed to the full width of the street. Any vehicle parked in violation of this subsection may be towed pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 169.041. A violation of this subsection shall be a petty misdemeanor. The city contracts with Allen's Towing Service at (952) 894-1000, 7215 W. 128th St. in Savage.
Clearing Fire Hydrants
The Prior Lake Fire Department requests that neighbors share in the responsibility of making fire hydrants accessible to first responders. This saves firefighters valuable time when responding to a fire at your home or within your neighborhood. A three-foot clearance is recommended.
Seasonal Load Limits
The Minnesota Department of Transportation provides the most current information on seasonal load limits. MnDot's automated 24-hour message center can be reached at (800) 723-6543 for the USA and Canada, or locally at (651) 366-5400 for the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Click here to see the full Seasonal Load Limit Notification from MnDOT.
|2013 Spring Load Restrictions
Below are the spring load restrictions for the City of Prior Lake as determined by Mn/DOT. Click here to see the full Seasonal Load Limit Notification from MnDOT. During these times, county, city and township roads, unless posted otherwise, are limited to the axle limits as shown on this load limit map (click here). For state highway load restrictions, see the MnDOT Office of Materials and Road Research website.
| All City PAVED roads have a 7-ton-per-axle load limit.
| All City UNPAVED roads have a 5-ton-per-axle load limit.
| The City of Prior Lake does not issue any overweight permits.
| The ENDING DATE for Winter Load Increases and the STARTING DATE for Spring Load Restriction is Friday, March 13, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.
| No Overweight Permits are issued during the Spring Load Restriction period. Full-summer overweight permits become available within each frost zone starting two to three weeks after Spring Load Restrictions are lifted.
|Seal Coating and Crack Sealing
The largest improvement to streets each year is the street overlay projects in early summer. Residential street seal coating will take also place in early June. Street and Utility crews are currently in the process of tagging houses and businesses that are in this years street seal coat areas. Do not park in the street or blow grass clippings into the street. When can you drive on a road that has been seal coated? As soon as the rock is down, which is seconds after the oil is applied.
Pavement crack sealing is scheduled for many areas throughout the community. For more information, click for Street Maintenance Map.
City staff asks residents to obey all warning signs and slow travel in and around construction work zones. For questions regarding scheduled projects, contact Public Works at (952) 447-9800.
Click for Street Maintenance Map.
Spring sweeping of snow and ice control aggregate will begin when streets are significantly clear of snow and ice, usually late March or early April, after the risk of later snowfall has passed. Spring sweeping is typically completed by May 15. Fall sweeping will commence Sept. 15 and typically is completed by Nov. 15. Areas with extensive foliage will be swept after most of the leaves have fallen.
Street Sweeping Study
The City of Prior Lake Maintenance Department is conducting a two-year study to determine the amount of street sweeping that is most beneficial for our lakes and other various bodies of water. This will result in an increase in street sweeping for some streets, specifically those closest to a body of water. To see if your street will be affected, click here for a map and click here for a brochure to learn more about this cutting-edge study. This study will run from the summer of 2010 to the summer of 2012.
MN. Statute 169.14 establishes statutory speed limits on most typical roadways under ideal conditions. All other speed limits are set by the DOT Commissioner based upon an engineering and traffic investigation. The Office of Traffic, Security and Operations (OTSO) administers the speed limit program and determines the policy and practices to execute such studies. The district traffic offices perform the studies. In general, Mn/DOT follows the guidelines for determining safe speeds as prescribed by the National Institute of Transportation Engineers. OTSO also systematically monitors travel speeds on major categories of roads for overall system performance." For more information on speed limits, please visit the Minn. Dept. of Transportation website.