City Notes: Grandview Heights crews remain ready for winter’s wrath

Greta Kearns
City of Grandview Heights

Regardless of how you feel about winter in Ohio, I believe most of us can agree the snow that blanketed Grandview Heights on Christmas Eve was quite picturesque.

I know my children have enjoyed the measurable snowfalls in past years to sled down the Wyman Woods hill. Though I enjoy coming across a well-dressed snowman on my walks around town, winter weather events are yet another reminder of the sacrifices our employees make to ensure service and safety are the top priority. They were called in on Christmas Eve to work around the clock for the next two days until streets were clear.

Greta Kearns

We have received several inquiries since the start of the season about our approach to winter weather events. Each fall, our salt supply is replenished as the service and parks-maintenance crews begin preparing equipment and perform routine maintenance to ensure everything is in good working order once the first flakes fly. 

It is true that no two weather events are the same, but there are standard preparations carried out when the forecast begins to show chances of inclement precipitation. Trucks are readied and filled with salt. During the winter months, plows will often remain attached until warmer weather breaks. Have you ever noticed rows of white lines on the roadway ahead of a weather event? If no rain is predicted ahead of snow or ice, a saltwater solution known as brine is applied to the pavement. The solution helps prevent black ice, can prevent the need for salt during minor events and preserves the condition of asphalt by preventing the snow from sticking to the pavement. 

If a few slick spots are detected, crews will apply salt to our main roadways and hills. If snowfall becomes measurable, crews will begin removing it with plows. A single salt application for the main roadways and hills uses roughly 13 tons. The service department is mindful of how much salt is used for each event to guarantee we have enough to last through the season.

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We have approximately 25 miles of streets and 7 miles of alleys in Grandview Heights, which is why you might not see a plow on your street right away. During a larger event, crews are divided into shifts to ensure streets are continually treated until safe driving conditions return. The type of precipitation falling, air and pavement temperatures and traffic volumes all play a role in what resources are necessary to treat the roads.

From time to time, the Franklin County sheriff will issue a countywide snow emergency based on conditions from a Level 1 to a Level 3, with a Level 3 being the most severe. The city is not involved in issuing these emergencies but will pass along the information as it is made available. In the past few years, major snow events have been few, but rest assured, our crews stand ready to respond at any time.

Greta M. Kearns is mayor of Grandview Heights.