Winter driving can be a challenge here in the Northland. In an effort to share citywide winter information we have created this web site for your convenience. You will be able to look at the snow emergency map, follow the odd and even parking calendar, write us an email about snow concerns and find answers to your snow related questions. We suggest you bookmark this valuable winter web site.
Please drive safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the City preparing for the upcoming snow season?
The City of Duluth starts preparing for winter in August by hauling in winter sand and mixing it with 10% salt to prevent the pile from freezing. Early in October we purchase a stockpile of road salt. By the end of October, we start converting some of our blacktop trucks back to sanding trucks for the winter season. All trucks, graders, spreaders and other equipment are inspected for deficiencies.
The City is continually looking at ways to increase our efficiency in getting streets plowed. The City will also issue media releases and general information to the public.
When will my street get plowed?
- City workers are challenged with clearing over 400 miles of city streets. Snow plow operators will try their best to get streets cleared for the morning commute. We may not get to your street immediately following a snowfall. We ask for your patience as staff work to ensure safe travel for all residents.
- There is a schedule for snowplowing (See question below) but City plows are able to remove 3" snowfalls much sooner than a 12" snowfall for example. It takes more time to plow heavier snow falls. During the "Halloween Mega Storm" in 1991, 36" fell over a 3 day period. Although all the equipment and operators worked around the clock, some folks waited up to 5 days to get plowed out.
Is there a schedule as to which streets get plowed and when?
- Every plow operator is assigned to a route and all routes include some main arteries, residential streets and any alleys in that vicinity. Plow route mileages are all around 50 lane miles each. Generally, after a snow event ends, city plows hit the streets at 2:00 am and clear the main thoroughfares for the morning rush hour. By around 7:00 am plows will start on the residential streets, and when those are finished, they plow the alleys. Depending on the snowfall, it can be up to 56 hours before every street and alley in the City is plowed. Streets are usually plowed in the same order for each storm because we have found it to be the most efficient way to plow that route. Operators will alternate though, if they have found another order to be just as efficient.
Does the City plow all streets and county roads?
- No. There are state and county road ways within the city limits, and those respective authorities plow their own roads. There are some exceptions though. See the map for details.
- Questions about county roads can be directed to 625-3800, during normal business hours.
- You can also access the county map at St. Louis County's web site.
Can I use salt and/or sand on my sidewalks?
What are the regulations for shoveling sidewalks?
- City ordinance Chapter 45, Article VI states that snow must be removed from sidewalks within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall.
The plow damaged my property (i.e. car, structure, etc...) who do I call?
- The city claims adjuster handles all property damage claims. Call 730-5276.
Can I park on the street if snow plows are coming through?
You can park on the street IF you follow parking regulations. One of the biggest problems plow operators have is trying to plow streets with illegally parked cars. Parking on the wrong side of the street in a calendar parking area, parking too close to intersections, parking too far away from the curb, and parking in the alley right-of-way are also common violations that prevent streets and alleys from being plowed. Violators are ticketed and sometimes towed if plows can't get through.
Is there anything I can do to get plowed out faster?
- Yes! If you have a driveway or garage, it is best to park there until after plows have been through your neighborhood. It takes more time to plow around a car than to plow against the curb. If you must park on the street, park legally and remind your neighbors to do the same thing.
What number do I call in the case of an emergency or outside of normal business hours?
Who do I call with snow or ice control questions? (during normal business hours)
- Please call 730-5430.
- Sidewalk concerns or questions 730-4490.
City of Duluth's Legislative Code
Who do I contact with a concern? (during normal business hours)