Snow & Ice Control on Village Owned Roadways


The Village of Northbrook’s Public Works Department is responsible for snow and ice control operations (i.e. plowing and salting) on Village-owned streets. Salting and plowing operations are conducted with Village personnel and equipment. The snow and ice control operations begin as weather conditions dictate or when the Public Works Department is notified of icy or snowy road conditions by the Police Department after normal business hours. Priority for snow and ice control operations is given to arterial and collector roads and then to secondary subdivision roads. View the Plow Base Map (PDF).


The following is a list of the streets that have been designated as arterial or collector:
  • Anthony Trail
  • Cedar Lane
  • Cherry Lane
  • Church Street
  • Commercial Avenue
  • Founders Drive
  • Grant Road
  • Happ Road
  • Huehl Road
  • Kamp Drive
  • Landwehr Road
  • Lee Road
  • Maria Avenue
  • Meadow Road
  • Pfingsten Road
  • Pointe Drive
  • Revere Drive
  • Shermer Road
  • Skokie Boulevard
  • Sunset Ridge Road
  • Techny Road
  • Voltz Road
  • Walters Avenue
  • Western Avenue

Ice Control

Depending on weather and roadway conditions, crews are initially mobilized into 7 ice control sections. Ice control operations begin with 7 large salt trucks assigned to the primary sections along with a supervisor to monitor changing conditions such as air temperature, snow accumulation, and the next day's weather conditions. On average, about 2 per 3 of all snowfall events are completed with salting operations only and do not need a full-scale plow operation.

Straight sodium chloride (rock salt) begins to lose its effectiveness when temperatures drop below 20 degrees requiring a liquid de-icing additive. The Public Works Department has traditionally used a mixture of 32% calcium chloride for the salt to continue melting snow and ice at lower temperatures. In 2012, the Public Works Department began utilizing a salt brine/calcium chloride/beet juice solution as a deicing additive in an effort to be more environmentally conscience. There are also economic advantages as this product saves on salt if applied to the roads prior to snowstorms.

The amount of salt used during a snow season does not directly correlate with the amount of snow that fell. The same amount of salt may be used during a light 1 inch snowfall and a heavy 6 inches snowfall. Public Works crews will salt the roads before a full plowing operation begins (before there is adequate accumulation) and after the plowing operation is complete. Generally, the most salt will be used over a season when there are many light snowfalls.

Plow Operation

Upon the accumulation of 1.5 to 2 inches of snow, crews mobilize into 8 plow sections. Attached is a map that depicts how the Village is broken into plow sections. A typical snow storm takes approximately 4 to 6 hours to complete after the snowfall ends and utilizes approximately 35 staff members and 31 pieces of equipment. Table 1 illustrates the number of vehicles performing different tasks during a full plowing operation.

Table 1 - Number of Vehicles By Task

(*) means support includes vehicles required for supervision and loading salt trucks.
Task Number of Vehicles Types of Vehicle
Primary Plow Sections 15 Dump Trucks
Cul-de-sac, Alleys, and Dead-ends 7 Pick-up Trucks
Parking Lots 2 Front End Loaders
Sidewalks 3 Pick-up Truck, Tractor, Skid Steer Loader
Support* 4 Pick-up Trucks, Front End Loader
Total 31 N/A
In seven of the eight plow sections, crews perform tandem plow operations. A tandem plowing pass will typically consist of a lead dump truck plowing the center half of a lane followed by a salt spreading truck pushing the remaining snow over to the curb. Performing plowing operations in this manner allows crews to more efficiently clear the roadway.

Conditions may necessitate plowing streets several times during the event. To the greatest extent possible, secondary or residential streets are also maintained in a passable condition concurrently with priority arterial and collector streets. Operations are concluded when all Village roadways are free of accumulated snow and ice. All roads are plowed “curb to curb” to maintain acceptable width and open storm sewer drains for subsequent melting. Spot salting/scraping and intersection push back operations are typically performed during the next business day on regular time or as required to maintain safe vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Streets Not Plowed by Northbrook

Not all streets within the Village limits of Northbrook are plowed by our Public Works Department. For a listing of Private, State or Cook County roads view the Street Not Plowed by Northbrook Public Works (PDF). For your convenience, the following is a listing of the State and Cook County roads and their contact information.

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)

IDOT is responsible for:
  • Dundee Road
  • Pfingsten Road (south of Highland and north of Maria)
  • Waukegan Road
  • Willow Road
To report emergency conditions on State roads, call 847-705-4612 or visit the IDOT website.

Illinois Tollway Information Hotline

The Illinois Tollway Information Hotline is 800 Toll FYI (800-865-5394).
Cook County Highway Department is responsible for:
  • Lake Cook Road
  • Landwehr Road (south of Dundee)
  • Sanders Road
  • Skokie Frontage Road (south of ComEd)
  • Sunset Ridge Road (south of Midway)
  • Techny Road (Shermer to Sanders)
  • Walters Avenue (between Pfingsten and Sanders)

Making a Report

To report emergency conditions on County roads, call 708-448-8006. To report emergency conditions on Village roads, call 847-272-4711. For non-emergency condition reports or questions, please contact the Village through the GONorthbrook Service Request System.

Program Service Level

The Public Works Department begins salting operations as conditions dictate during normal business hours or upon notification from the Police Department after hours. Salt is applied at varying rates to all Village owned roadways, in a typical storm 200-400 pounds per lane mile. Plowing operations begin upon snow accumulation reaching 1.5 to 2 inches of snow and are generally completed within 4 to 6 hours after the snowfall ends.

Industry/Village Standard

The Public Works Department begins salting operations as road conditions dictate and begin plowing when snow accumulation reaches 1.5 to 2 inches. It is the Village’s goal to have streets plowed curb to curb and salted within four 4 to 6 hours after a snow fall has stopped.