Larimer County Road And Bridge Snow And Ice Removal Policy
Snow and Ice removal operations within Larimer County are considered a vital part of the economic and social welfare of the county. Economics, however, require a balance between the level of service and the resources available to perform the service. The basic philosophy governing Larimer County Snow and Ice Removal Policy is that, except during blizzard conditions, all school bus routes on mainline county roads will be plowed and/or sanded in a timely manner so as to provide for the reasonably safe accommodation of school bus traffic, and other mainline county roads will be opened in time for mail delivery and commuting purposes. With very limited exceptions, Larimer County will not provide snow and ice control during the nighttime hours.
Specific Larimer County snow and ice removal policies are as follows:
- All of Larimer County's roads are categorized by the level of snow and ice removal efforts which will be devoted to them. The various levels of service, the roadways which fall within that level and the degree of service which will be devoted to snow and ice removal operations on each level are identified below.
- Level One Roads: This level includes all current county roads (not including subdivision roads) that are school bus routes. During school days, Level One roads will be plowed and sanded to accommodate school bus schedules. Plowing and sanding operations will normally be carried out between the hours of 4 a.m. and 6 p.m. during school days. On days other than school days, plowing and sanding operations will be completed by 5 p.m.
- Level Two Roads: Level Two roads include all current county mainline roads (not including subdivision roads) that have both historically been, and currently are year around U.S. rural mail routes with daily mail delivery service. Seasonal or otherwise occasional mail delivery situations are not included in Level Two roads. On mail delivery days (typically Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays), Level Two routes will be opened in time to accommodate mail delivery schedules. Plowing and sanding operations on Level Two routes will normally be carried out between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on mail delivery days. On days other than mail delivery days (Sundays and holidays), plowing and sanding operations will be completed by 5 p.m.
- Level Three Roads: Level Three roads are the remaining mainline county roads (not including subdivision roads) which are not included in Level One and Level Two above, or in Level Five and Level Six below. Level Three roads will be plowed and/or sanded after the resource requirements for Level One and Level Two roads are met. Plowing and sanding operations on Level Three roads will normally be completed by 5 p.m.
- Level Four Roads: Level Four roads are those roads located within rural subdivisions. Level Four roads will be plowed and/or sanded as needed after the needs of Level One, Two and Three roads are met.
- Level Five Roads: Level Five roads are those county roads which will be plowed and/or sanded only after the needs of Level One through Level Four roads have been made and resources are available to open these roads.
- Level Six Roads: Level Six roads are those county roads which are not plowed or sanded during the winter months.
- As noted earlier, in the event that blizzard conditions exist with high winds, extremely low visibility, etc., Larimer County will not attempt to provide any snow and ice control services for any of the above levels of service until the blizzard conditions have ended.
- Larimer County normally will spread sand only on steep hills, curves and intersections, and will not spread sand continuously along roadways. Continuous sanding will be done only when, in the opinion of the Road and Bridge Director, it is necessary in order to provide a reasonably safe driving surface for the average motorist.
- Nighttime (after 6 p.m.) snow and ice control services will be routinely performed only on the following roads:
County Road 19 from County Road 28 to County Road 34;
County Road 17 from County Road 28 to County Road 34;
County Road 34 between US 287 and County Road 17;
County Road 38E from County Road 19 to County Road 27;
County Road 23 from County Road 38E to the south end of Dixon Dam;
County Road 42C from County Road 23 to County Road 21;
County Road 8E from County Road 31 to County Road 23;
County Road 18E from County Road 29 to Pinewood Lake;
County Road 29 from US 34 to County Road 18E;
County Road 17 from County Road 16 to Colony Road;
County Road 31 from County Road 18E to County Road 8E;
County Road 5 from County Road 26 to County Road 38;
County Road 3 from US 34 to County Road 26;
County Road 3 from County Road 30 to County Road 32E;
County Road 1 from US 34 to County Road 26;
County Road 30 from the I-25 east frontage road to County Road 3;
County Road 26 from County Road 5 to County Road 1;
County Road 17 from County Road 48 to US 287;
County Road 50 from County Road 17 to US 287.
Larimer County will not respond to requests for nighttime snow and ice control services for locations other than those identified above.
- Larimer County will address problem areas such as access to mailboxes, isolated slick spots, etc. only after all Level One, Two and Three roads are open for traffic.
- Given the vast expanse of Larimer County and the possible diverse weather conditions, all motorists are expected to have their vehicles equipped with chains and/or adequate snow tires, warm clothes, water, and food during inclement weather.
- Larimer County will not provide towing service for private or public vehicles which are stuck in the snow or have run off the road. Plow and sanding truck operations may provide assistance if they are passing by, but will not make a special trip to assist. If motorists request assistance from County resources, they will be required to sign a release prior to that assistance being provided.
- Larimer County will not be responsible for any damage to newspaper delivery boxes or to rural mailboxes unless they are physically struck by County equipment. It is the homeowner's responsibility to see that paper boxes and/or mail boxes are properly placed and marked and are sturdy enough to ensure that they will not be damaged or destroyed by snow being thrown from passing snowplows. Larimer County will replace mail boxes which are physically hit by snowplows, provided that the mail boxes are properly located and marked.
- The practice of pushing onto or across Larimer County's roadways endangers the traveling public as well as plow truck operators. The Statutes of the State of Colorado make it unlawful for private individuals or entities to store snow within the public right-of-way. Larimer County residents may receive a warning and/or summons for snow pushed onto the County's right-of-way from driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, etc.
- Larimer County will not plow private drives except in the case of a life threatening emergency. Any emergency request will be forwarded to the Sheriff's Office for investigation and confirmation prior to Larimer County plowing any private driveways. In the case of a fraudulent emergency claim, prosecution will be pursued to the full extent of the law.
- Decisions regarding change in winter service level will be made by the Road and Bridge Director. Consideration of requests for change will only occur when submitted via a Request for Change in Winter Service Level form. Forms are available from the Road and Bridge Department.
- This policy was initially approved by the Board of Larimer County Commissioners on January 2, 1990 and last approved for revision on November 25, 2008.