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Crews are Ready for Winter - Are You?

Long before snow flies, we are ready. The City of Cedar Rapids provides one of the highest levels of service in the State, treating and responding to both arterial and residential roads. 

As colder temperatures descend upon Eastern Iowa, our thoughts turn from pouring concrete to spreading salt. Snow events in Cedar Rapids can range from intense blizzards, to ice storms, to flurries, and the Public Works Streets Division is ready to respond to a number of situations that threaten the safety of our roadways this winter.

Our stockpile is ready. plows entering garage
We have more than 9,000 tons of salt on hand, stored in three different locations around the city for easy access. For the next several winters, we will also be reusing the sand that was deployed in miles and miles of HESCO barriers last year during emergency flood measures.

Our fleet is ready.
Our trucks are designed to move quickly from summer construction to winter demands. Swap loaders have the capability to transform into a snow machine in a matter of minutes. Truck beds previously used for hauling concrete during the summer months can roll off and be “swapped” for a new one capable of applying salt, sand, or brine. In all, the City has approximately 90 pieces of snow removal equipment at our disposal, ranging from swap loaders to smaller, more versatile pieces suitable for clearing sidewalks or tight areas.

Our crews are ready.
Regular training and “roadeo” competitions keep our team sharp as we wait for the first snow event of the season. Cedar Rapids has some very skilled operators, who have taken home hardware from a number of national snow plow competitions for their skill in speed and maneuverability. When snow events occur, staff will work around the clock during their response time, often working long days and nights during slow moving snowstorms. And of course, crews are always on call, even on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve.

Are you ready? Emergency Snow Route Sign
You can help our winter snow removal efforts by educating yourself on what to do during snow emergencies. If a snow emergency has been declared, please remove cars parked on emergency snow routes. These are areas prioritized for clearing due to their proximity to schools, hospitals, or because they serve as bus routes. You can get a list of Emergency Snow Routes on our website, or sign up for text alerts.

You can also help us clear neighborhood streets, which are often difficult to clear due to cars parked on the side of the road. To help give our crews room to plow the street and parking lane, use the Odd/Even rule during snow removal efforts:

  • Park on the ODD-address side of the street on odd calendar days. 
  • Park on the EVEN-address side of the street on even calendar days. 

Watch an informational video on what to do during snow emergencies:

No matter what happens this winter, drive safe! We’ll be out there.

Mike Duffy
Street Operations Manager

  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

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