LINCOLN–(News Release Oct. 24)–Lincoln Transportation and Utilities (LTU) Director Liz Elliott and the City Operations and Maintenance team today outlined their operations plan to keep drivers safe and traffic moving this winter. The FY2023/24 Winter Operations budget is $6,280,000.
“The City’s commitment to providing safe and accessible transportation, whether for work, school, medical appointments, or grocery shopping, is unwavering,” Director Elliott said. “Our team works tirelessly to prepare for winter, using advanced technology to respond to the varying forecasts and conditions of each storm.”
Elliott noted that the 12 multi-use trucks put into operation last winter increased the efficiency of LTU’s winter operations. The super combo trucks are equipped to spray anti-icing material, spread granular salt pre-wet with brine, and plow snow from Lincoln’s streets.
“This effort paid off last winter by nearly doubling our capacity to apply brine and salt to arterial streets faster and more efficiently. We are excited to deliver these additional benefits for Lincoln drivers this winter and every winter as we plow ahead,” said Elliott.
The City has 8,900 tons of granular salt available for pavement clearing during snow and ice events this winter. Elliott said the City’s custom brine-making and -filling equipment is also a key component of Lincoln’s winter preparedness by helping prevent the bonding of snow and ice to the streets. The brine program saves the city between $100,000 to $300,000 annually depending on the severity of the winter season.
This will be the third year the Winter Operations team utilizes two truck fill stations. The stations have the capability to quickly change the makeup of the brine to match the severity of each unique storm and the different locations cut down on traveling time to refill the trucks.
Tim Byrne, Maintenance and Operations Manager, emphasized the City’s commitment to continue offering a high level of customer service to the community.
“Our team has made significant improvements to our Winter Operations Plan over the last several years. Not only do we focus on fine-tuning our Winter Operations processes, but we continue to work hard to engage our community and expand the ways we can keep residents and visitors up to date on our plowing progress through each storm,” said Byrne.
Byrne encouraged residents to review a variety of customer service and education tools at lincoln.ne.gov/snow to help the community monitor street conditions during active storms. They include:
- Sign up for daily Winter Operation email updates.
- Follow LTU on Facebook @LTULincoln, on “X” at @LTULNK, and tune into local media sources.
- View the City’s Winter Operations educational videos and Frequently Asked Questions.
- Watch the City’s plowing progress in real-time on the Snowplow Tracker map.
- Five companies are under contract to assist with winter operations when needed.
When considering making a snow-related service request during a winter storm, residents may do the following:
- Watch – Watch for the storm to end. Crews are better able to respond to resident service requests after a storm has passed and arterial and emergency streets have been serviced.
- Review – Review the Snowplow Tracker and the Residential Snowplow Tracker at lincoln.ne.gov/snow to monitor snowplowing progress. Please pause residential street requests unless your service area is shaded in dark green, which means it has been serviced, inspected, and approved. If your service area is not shaded in dark green, crews are still plowing and may solve your issue soon.
- Request – Make a service request. Please submit requests to UPLNK.lincoln.ne.gov if your service area is shaded in dark green but requires additional attention. Snowfighters will address service requests after priority snowplowing is complete.
Byrne also encouraged vehicle owners to plan now to find alternative parking to prepare for potential parking bans. In 2023, parking bans prohibit parking on the odd-numbered sides of streets. Parking bans will prohibit parking on the even-numbered sides of streets in 2024.
“Lincoln’s plows are wide and heavy and need additional room to effectively plow Lincoln streets. By working together during these snowstorms, we can continue to increase our service level to our entire community and plow as much snow away from the center of the streets as possible to increase traveling accessibility,” Byrne said.
Additional winter reminders and programs include:
- Keep vehicles off the street during snow operations, even if parking bans have not been issued.
- Drive carefully around crews clearing ice and snow.
- Keep sidewalks, including curb cuts, free of ice and snow, and clear snow away from all fire hydrants and mailboxes.
- The Snow Angels Volunteer Program connects neighbors who need snow shoveling assistance with volunteers willing to help.
The volunteer program and all other Winter Operation-related resources are available at lincoln.ne.gov/snow.