Snow Plowing & Anti-Ice Treatment

Public Works Maintenance diligently follows weather reports, monitors our weather stations and road conditions, prepares for and is on the ready for weather events. Often City crews get started in the early hours to eliminate commuting hazards or mitigate very snowy or icy conditions.  In the event of snowfall where plowing is required the City of Lake Oswego has four dump trucks with plows and sanders, and one truck with just a sander. The City also has a front-end loader that can be outfitted with chains and a plow.

Winter Plowing, Sanding and Anti-Ice Routes

The City of Lake Oswego has many hills and streets that are typically the first to get slippery or impacted by snow.  Public Works Maintenance prioritizes getting to these roads with anti-icer, sand and/or plowing as well main arterials, collectors and bus routes.

In a snow or ice event, roads will be cleared or treated in the following order: arterials, collectors, and bus routes. After these streets are plowed and sanded, the crew will attempt to clear neighborhood streets if time and conditions permit.  Refer to the map for the priority winter plowing routes.

Anti-Icer as a Tool

The City can pretreat the streets with Magnesium Chloride anti-icer, which lowers the freezing temperature of water. Magnesium Chloride is preferred over salt or other anti-icers due to it being less toxic to plant life, and less corrosive to concrete and steel. The liquid Magnesium Chloride is sprayed on to dry pavement prior to freezing temperatures in the winter months to prevent snow and ice from adhering and bonding to the roadway. In order for the treatment to work properly, the road surface must be dry for application.

Anti-icer is preferred for use in certain circumstances. Sand causes other issues with drivers and bicyclists. Plus, when streets are sanded, the sand has to be removed after the weather event. It takes 5 days of clean-up for each day of application.

The City and National Weather Service offer the following safe winter driving tips:

  • Give snow plows plenty of room and only pass if necessary.
  • Reduce your speed and leave extra distance between vehicles.
  • Use extra caution on sharp curves and expect longer stopping distances.
  • Don’t use cruise control in wet, icy, or snowy weather.
  • Make sure your vehicle is clear of snow and ice before driving.
  • Carry a shovel and sand or kitty litter for emergency traction help.
  • Keep an emergency supply kit in your vehicle that includes a blanket, some food, and water.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • If you're traveling, before you go, visit or call 5-1-1 for the latest in road conditions, weather forecast, chain requirements, and incident information. Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route. Check in when you’ve reached your destination.