Detroit Activates Emergency Snow Routes in Prep of Major Snowfall

As the City of Detroit prepares for 12-16 inches of snow by Friday morning, the Department of Public Works (DPW) is preparing to plow and salt 673 miles of major thoroughfares, as well as coordinate with contractors to plow all 1884 miles of neighborhood residential streets. The public is asked to remove all parked cars from city streets beginning midnight tonight to prepare for neighborhood snow plowing.

The city utilizes a three-level system for snow removal during the winter weather, depending on the amount of snow that falls.  When more than six inches of snow falls, it initiates a city policy to plow all residential streets.

This is the first major snowstorm of 2022 and the first major storm with 7000 speed humps on residential streets which will impact the time for DPW crews plow residential streets. “It could take approximately 36 hours to complete one full cycle of plowing,” said DPW Director Ron Brundidge. “Residents are asked to have patience as DPW works with staffing strategically and continuously to complete snow and ice removal during industry-wide driver shortage.”

Here is what residents can expect:

Major Roads

Fleet of 50 DPW salt trucks and plows will clear 673 miles of Major Roads  
Nearly 100 drivers with work alternating 12 hour shifts until all main roads are clear
City crews will continually clear police precincts, fire houses, DDOT terminals

Residential Side Streets

First citywide clearing of residential side streets scheduled Thursday 6 AM – Friday 6 PM.
Contractors have 36 hours to complete the snow plowing and will be required to clear at least 16 feet on all residential streets.
To maximize the impact of the plowing, residents are encouraged to remove vehicles from the street, where possible. 
City workers will be inspecting their work and will send contractors back out as needed.
Crews will get 12 hours of rest after completing all residential side street before a possible second residential street plowing from Saturday 6 AM – Sunday 6 PM.
Goal is to have every neighborhood street cleared and opened by Monday morning.
The following contractors will be deployed to plow residential streets:
District 1 – Jordan Landscaping
District 2 – Jordan Landscaping
District 3 – Payne Landscaping
District 4 – Payne Landscaping
District 5 – Fontenot Services
District 6 – Gibraltar Construction
District 7 – A-Team Snow & Ice Control
25 smaller Detroit General Services Department plows will supplement contractors.

Trash Collection

We will try to make the Wednesday trash pick-up schedule. If not, residents are to leave the container out and we’ll get it next day. We will have updates on Thursday and Friday schedules.

DDOT Service

The heavy snow is likely to slow many city services, including bus service. To see the real-time location and movement of all in-service DDOT buses, download the DDOT Bus Tracker App from the Apple Store or Google Play.


We will continue to repair water main breaks, with priority to ensure safe, clean water is delivered.
DWSD will also continue salting and removing ice in areas that are awaiting repair crews.

Warning to Businesses

Businesses clearing their parking lots MUST either keep the snow on their own property OR have it hauled away.  Any business that pushes snow onto a public roadway will be ticketed and subject to fines of up to $1,000
Businesses also are reminded that they are responsible for maintaining their sidewalks in a manner that makes it safe for pedestrians. Snow removal companies and property owners are prohibited from putting snow from their property onto public roadways.

Safety tips to follow

Stock up on food, batteries, water, etc., and stay home for the next few days if possible.
Keep blanket, shovel, non-perishable food, phone charger in car in case get stuck or stranded.
Top off gas tank and windshield fluid before storm hits.
Don’t over-exert when shoveling snow.

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