The Fridley Public Works Department is engaged in a continuing effort to provide improved snow removal services, and yet keep expenses in balance with the current budget appropriation. For street snow removal, the City currently deploys 19 pieces of equipment, 12 major and 7 minor. Each of the 11 snowplow districts have a major piece of equipment dedicated to clearing snow from its roadways. These 12 major pieces of equipment are made up of 5 dump trucks with one-way plows and wing plows, 1 flatbed truck with a one-way plow, 1 dump truck and 2 pot patcher trucks with one-way plows and underbody plows, and 3 loaders with directional plows and wing plows. Six of these trucks are also equipped with sand spreaders for use during ice and slippery conditions exist. The 7 minor pieces of equipment are used to supplement the major equipment and to clear cul-de-sacs, dead end streets, improved alleys, municipal parking lots and concrete sidewalks. These 7 pieces are comprised of five 4x4 pickups, one 1-ton 4x4 truck and one sidewalk plow/snow blower.
The Fridley City Code contains has two ordinances dealing with the City winter snow removal activities. The first is Chapter 506 (Unattended Vehicle ordinance) prohibiting the parking of vehicles on City streets between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. commencing the first day of November through the first day of April of the following year. Vehicles parked on streets during this time would be tagged and towed as obstructions. This expedites and improves the snow plowing activities by City crews.
The second ordinance deals with Private Property Snow and Ice Removal (Chapter 514). This ordinance prohibits vehicles/people from pushing or shoveling snow onto or across City streets onto boulevards of private or public property. Property owners of the removed snow are responsible for their actions or the actions of any agent involved in the snow removal process. Penalties result in a notice of the first violation with a second violation penalty of $50, third $200, fourth $500, not-to-exceed $700 and 90 days in jail plus any City cost.
If you have any questions regarding these ordinances or would like a complete copy of the ordinance, you may contact Public Works.
City Ordinance 506 restricts parking on City streets from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. November 1 through April 1, regardless of snow. Violators will be tagged and towed, and subject to storage charges. Please see our Snow Removal Parking page for more information.
The Public Works Director has overall responsibility for snow and ice control operations. The Street Supervisor has direct responsibility for supervising the day-to-day operations, such as determining when to call out manpower, equipment needs, ordering materials, etc. The Street Supervisor utilizes weather services and reports, police reports, citizen input and consults with the Director when necessary to determine when to initiate the snow plowing operation.
The policy is to begin snow removal operations after the snowstorm has subsided, normally in the early morning hours. However, if the storm ends in late evening or early morning hours, the crews are called out in an attempt to clear snow emergency routes by morning rush hour. If a storm is predicted to last unreasonably long, or heavy accumulations appear imminent, full snow plowing operations begin on the snow emergency routes in eight districts when accumulation becomes hazardous for driving. Based on different storm situations and severity levels, the starting time frames are flexible. During blizzard or high wind storms, plowing does not commence until the storm subsides.
Whenever ice or slippery conditions develop, sanding crews are dispatched. Sand and salt mixtures are spread over ice or slippery areas to provide an abrasive to help melt the ice.
When snow removal operations begin, snow emergency routes are plowed first ("Redline Collectors"). It takes approximately 2 to 4 hours (depending upon the snowstorm) to complete these routes. These streets have been declared snow emergency routes because they allow residents and emergency vehicles faster and better access into all areas of Fridley.
After the snow emergency routes have been cleared, it takes approximately 6 to 8 hours to complete snow plowing operations on the remaining streets. This results in providing clean, safe streets 10 to 12 hours after an average snow storm.
The City is divided into 11 snow plowing districts after the snow emergency routes are plowed.. In each district, there are four alternating starting points. After each snow, the starting points will change.
The snowbird vehicles left parked on streets during a snowstorm create problems for snow removal operations. The City ordinance prohibits vehicles from parking on City streets during snow removal operations. Drivers report snowbirds to the Police Department. Depending on available police personnel, tickets are issued, if the vehicle is not removed. Vehicles that are blocking the street are towed away. Snowbirds that are still parked when cleanup operations begin are towed and impounded under the direction of police personnel. Cleanup operations being on the next normal working day after the snow removal operations have been completed. This includes cul-de-sac clearing and hauling, intersection clearing, sidewalks, traffic light areas, bus stops, and winging back on boulevards.
City plow operators make every effort to avoid damage to areas adjoining the street. We ask you keep landscaping, garbage containers, recycling containers, etc. from obstructing right-of-way. The City is not responsible for damage of these items due to snowplowing.
Public Works Employees mission is to maintain safe conditions for the public. Drivers should exercise caution around snow removal equipment. Plow drivers vision can be severely limited; for further safe winter travel information see Minnesota Department of Transportation Winter Workzone Safety.