Snow & Ice Control Services

Public Works Department group picture

The Public Works Department is responsible for the removal of snow and ice from approximately 125 center lane miles of roadway owned by the Village of Northbrook, parking lots and adjacent walkways (excluding train platforms) at municipal buildings and commuter parking lots. The Public Works Department also plows “arterial” public sidewalks that are used by children to get to school, commuters to get to the train station, and the public for shopping and recreational purposes. Snow and ice control operations are prioritized to first plow and salt roadways, followed by parking lots, and lastly to plow public sidewalks.

The 125 center lane miles of roadway translates into approximately 539 plow lane miles. Plow lane miles are an accurate measure of the distance that Public Works crews plow because streets require multiple passes with the snow plow to clear the full width of the road for travel. Wider arterial streets can take significantly more passes to clear.

It is the goal of the Public Works Department to maintain all roadways in a safe and passable condition for the duration of winter storms. The Village strives to have all streets cleared curb to curb and salted within 4 to 6 hours after a snowfall has ended. Parking lots, municipal facilities, and sidewalks are completed during snow and ice events as staffing levels and weather conditions allow.

Ordinances and Procedures Related to Snow & Ice Control:

Given how important snow & ice control is to the safety of the public, the Village has enacted a number of ordinances and procedures related to snow and ice control. Learn more about these, on this page.

Overview of Operations:

When winter weather arrives, the Public Works Department begins a variety of operations to help keep motorists and others safe on the road. 

Street Plowing

Street plowing and salting begins whenever accumulating snow, sleet, ice or freezing rain are imminent and could be potentially hazardous to the community. Depending on the event, seven salt trucks typically start with more being added if accumulations reach 1.5 to 2 inches. Plowing and salting will continue until the event ends with the goal being to plow and salt all roads within four to six hours after snowfall stops. Learn more about street plowing on the Street & Roadway Plowing page.

Sidewalk Plowing

Sidewalks are cleared as soon as possible after street plowing begins. Clearing typically takes place concurrently with street plowing or as soon as possible after the snowfall event stops. Learn more about sidewalk clearing on the Sidewalk Plowing page.

Commuter Lot Plowing

Commuter lots are cleared as soon as possible following a snowfall event with the goal being to keep the lots as open as possible during and after an event. Learn more about commuter lot clearance, on the Municipal Facilities and Commuter Lot page.

Detailed Program Overview:

Learn more about the Village's Snow & Ice Control Program in the presentation below: