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Snow Removal

PDF Snow Emergency Information
PDF Sidewalk Snow Removal  (to be posted)

Snowplowing & Related Winter Street Services

We encourage all Brighton residents and or businesses to contact us if additional City plowing or salting is needed at any location. Contact our DPW Office at 810-225-8001 or the City Manager's Office at 810-225-8022 or via email at to give us an address or street location for where additional snow related street maintenance attention is needed. We will add those locations to the list for follow-up plowing or salting work. DPW Staff and the City Manager will be checking messages left on both of the above phone lines and email on a continuous basis. Thank you for your help by calling these winter street maintenance needs to our attention.

Following are some common questions about snow removal.  Please contact the Department of Public Works if you have additional questions at 810-225-8001.

When I finish shoveling my driveway, the City comes along with the snowplows and covers the driveway up again.  Why?

The City of Brighton has a limited amount of manpower and equipment to clean approximately 24 total miles of City streets; therefore, it is necessary for the snow crews to move as quickly as possible in order to get the task accomplished. It would be virtually impossible to lift the snow blade at every driveway and still cover the number of miles necessary to do the job. We realize that this can cause an inconvenience to those citizens who have cleaned their driveway; however, if we are able to complete the job in an acceptable period of time, we must move as quickly as possible.

Why does the City clean the downtown area before they clean the residential areas?

The City snow crews attempt to clear both the residential and downtown areas simultaneously after the Snow Emergency Routes are cleared of snow. The residential areas, of course, are much larger than the downtown area and it may appear that the downtown area is being cleaned faster and receiving more attention than the residential areas. Because the downtown area is smaller, with fewer streets involved, it is probably that the downtown area will be cleared of snow prior to all residential streets being cleared.

What streets are cleared first?

All Emergency Snow Routes are cleared first, which takes approximately 1 to 3 hours. It is absolutely necessary to clear the Emergency Snow Routes prior to attempting to clear the residential streets. If it becomes necessary to clear residential streets, clearing operations will begin on those streets immediately after the Emergency Snow Routes have been cleared.

What is the City’s policy and procedure regarding salt and sand?

The City uses a combination of rock salt and salt/sand mix depending on current temperature conditions (i.e. the lower the temperature, the more sand mix is placed). Salt and sand areas generally placed down as needed. During snowfall, the sequence for spreading salt and sand is first on Emergency Snow Routes, second on intersections and problem hills, and third is all other areas. Salt and sand will be placed down during the first inch of snowfall on Emergency Snow Routes and the intersections and problem hills. Spreading of salt and sand in the other areas will take place simultaneously with plowing as needed.

What does the City do about the loading and unloading zones located around school areas?

The City will coordinate its efforts with the schools in clearing loading and unloading zones around all school zones.

Why and when does the City call an emergency on snow removal?

The City Manager, or in his absence, the Director of Public Services, is responsible for declaring an emergency during snow removal operations. An emergency is usually declared when the snowfall is of such a magnitude that it causes traffic congestion on Emergency Snow Routes and required plowing. The primary purpose of the snow emergency is to clear all Emergency Snow Routes of parked cars until such time as the snow can be removed from these routes.

What can citizens do to help during the snow removal operations and when emergency snow removal operations are initiated?

When an emergency is declared during snow removal operations, citizens living along the Emergency Snow Routes should remove their parked vehicles from the street and park them elsewhere until such time as the street is cleared of snow.

During particularly heavy snows, citizens should remain in their homes and not attempt to drive on the streets until the snow crews have cleared the streets. If a medical emergency arises and the street in front of your residence has not been cleared, please call the Police or Fire Department for assistance.

If you have some place to park your car, other than on the street, please do so during snow removal operations.

When clearing or shoveling your driveway, please do not shovel the snow from your driveway into a street that has been previously plowed.

If it is necessary for you to drive your vehicle, please drive carefully and slowly. Please use chains or snow tires when possible.

During periods of snow and freezing rain, plan to begin your trip to work earlier than usual.

If I get stuck in the snow, will the City crews pull me out? What should I do?

During snow removal operations, City crews do not have time to disengage stranded vehicles. However, City crews can contact the Police Department who will assist the motorist in finding a tow truck for the removal of their vehicles from the roadway. Motorists who are stranded in the roadways should immediately contact a towing company for assistance in removing their vehicle. If you must abandon your vehicle anywhere in the roadway to obtain assistance, please notify the Police Department even if you plan to make your own arrangements for removing your vehicle.

Who is responsible for snow removal on sidewalks?

City crews are responsible for sidewalk snow removal within the commercial business district (made up primarily of Grand River and Main Street). Snow will be removed at a lower priority than streets in these areas. All business owners should contact the Department of Public services for removal status during a storm event.

All residents are responsible for snow removal of sidewalks in front of and at the sides of their property within twelve hours after the snowfall has stopped.

If my car is removed during an emergency snow operation whom should I contact?

When an emergency is declared, all vehicles parked in Emergency Snow Routes must be removed to another location so that the snow plows can clear the street. The Police Department attempts to contact owners of vehicles who are unaware that a snow emergency has been declared so that they can remove their vehicles; however, if owners cannot be contacted, the vehicles parked along the Emergency Snow Routes will be removed by the Police Department If you are unaware of a snow emergency and your vehicle has been removed, please contact the Police Department for assistance in locating the vehicle.

Why does my gravel/dirt street/alley never get sanded?

The City concentrates snow clean up efforts on Emergency Snow Routes, and than in the residential area streets. The City does not plow or sand alleys. Any sanding operations on unpaved streets must be with sand only. This is due to the effect that salt has on unpaved streets. The salt turns the unpaved streets into a muddy mess. City snow plows will usually be able to plow a street before a special sand truck can be dispatched.

Which streets are on the Emergency Snow Route?

Grand River, Challis Road, Main Street, South Third Street, Brighton Lake Road, Rickett Road, South Church Street, Spencer Road, Liberty Street, and Flint Road