Snow removal agencies prioritize routes

Over the last couple of weeks, snow removal crews in the Treasure Valley have been going non-stop but some say it's not good enough. They're angry with the lack of plowing in residential areas.

But as 6 On Your Side discovers, some roads are simply a higher priority.

Highway districts in both Ada and Canyon Counties are getting a ton of calls this week. People are wondering why residential roads aren't being plowed.

They operate on a priority system with a focus first on main roads, bridges and hills and routes near hospitals and fire departments.

Due to limited staffing and resources, residential roads in Ada County will likely remain snow covered until it melts.

On Wednesday, crews turned their focus to major bus zones since school starts up again next week.

"This [huge amount of snow all at once] happens very rarely, to be honest," says Nicole Du Bois, public information specialist for the Ada County Highway District. "We completely sympathize because many of us, if not all of us, live in residential areas too."

With six different city roadways to oversee, ACHD encourages homeowner's associations and individuals to apply for a permit through their office so they can hire a contractor to do the plowing.

The policy for district 4 in Canyon County entails that residential areas with six inches of snow will be plowed if all major roadways are already taken care of, which unfortunately doesn't usually line up to the homeowners' benefit.

"We're getting six, 2-inch dumps and it's just kept us going," says Dave Jones, director of Canyon Highway District 4. "And so, for the guys not only to get the roads open but get the intersections safe for schools and emergency responders, we also have to go back in and push the snow back because of drifting snow."

There are a total of four districts that handle snow removal in Canyon County.

Jones and Du Bois encourage travelers to check road conditions before heading out at http://511.idaho.gov/.

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