(541) 774-8184

September 23, 2023
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Snow Removal and Sanding

Jackson County Roads is responsible for the maintenance of more than 900 miles of roads. This means that during a countywide snowstorm there are in excess of 1,800 lane miles to be cleared of snow.

Fortunately, most storms are not countywide but vary considerably as to location and intensity. For this reason, the county has not established a list of specific routes to be plowed/sanded in priority order. Rather, the field supervisors determine priorities in each given instance since they are on the scene and have the greatest familiarity with how current weather may affect traffic conditions.


How much snow has to fall before the county responds?
Plowing activity usually begins wherever two inches or more of snow have accumulated. Sanding may take place where slick areas develop. Except in emergencies, the county does not plow or sand at night.

Which roads get plowed/sanded first?
In general, arterial and main collector roads (those carrying the highest volumes of traffic) receive attention first. This schedule may be modified if a particularly hazardous situation exists in some other location.

Will the county snowplow or sand my local access road?
By law, the county must be reimbursed for any work it does on local access roads. Therefore, a billing account is required to be set up ahead of time and work will usually be done after other priority routes are clear.

Are there other methods besides snowplowing or sanding?
Yes. Jackson County Roads uses a material called Magnesium Chloride or de-icer as a preventative strategy. This anti-icing agent is used on lower elevation roads to prevent fog and light snow from bonding to the road surface. It is also applied to bridges and other areas that freeze quickly if not treated. Unlike salt, Magnesium Chloride is less corrosive to vehicles and is not damaging to roadside vegetation.

Does the county use salt on the roads?
No. It has been determined that the corrosive effects of salt on vehicles, pavements, bridge decks, and vegetation more than offset any benefit gained on the county road system.

What if I have an emergency and my road is impassable because of snow?
The county will attempt to respond to any genuine emergency. The Sheriff's Office should also be notified so the most effective response can be coordinated.

Will the county clear the snow berm off my driveway while plowing?
No. It is the owner’s responsibility to clear the berm off his or her own driveway. The first priority of Roads is to clear arterial and collector roads or hazardous areas. The snowplow team will then clear secondary roads.  When clearing your driveway, do not pile snow out in the travel lane of the roadway as this creates a roadway hazard.  Also, do not intentionally block drainage features such as culvert pipes as these are needed as the snow begins to melt.  Lastly, placing snow to the right of your driveway when you are facing out toward the road will help keep it from coming back into your driveway since snow placed to the left can simply form another berm when we come by again.

The county snowplow knocked down my mailbox. When can I expect it to be replaced?
It is the mailbox owners' responsibility to install and keep the mailbox and post in a condition to withstand side cast snow and gravel. Snowplow operators make every effort to avoid causing damage, but are not held responsible for substandard mailboxes or posts. If county equipment (the snow plow for example) actually strikes the mailbox, it will normally be replaced at county expense within 48 hours.

Will the county remove the snow to provide access to my mailbox?
No. However, access to mailboxes adjacent to the pavement or roadway edge may occur in clean up and widening work after the storm has ended. It is the owner's responsibility to clear the access for mail delivery to mailboxes located beyond the edge of the pavement or roadway.

How will I know when the road I live on will be plowed/sanded?
Due to the varying nature of snow events it is many times difficult to predict when we will be able to get to a particular area.  You may call us though at (541) 774-8184 and we may be able to give an estimated time when the snowplowing equipment will be in your area.