Ever-changing Weather Systems Require
Main streets, or most streets with stripes, are the priority for Denver Public Works and our largest plows. These are the streets that carry most of the city's traffic as well as emergency vehicles and public transportation. The number of plows deployed and the option of pre-treating or anti-icing the streets depends on the weather conditions.
During major snow events when Denver receives 12 inches or more of snow accompanied by prolonged freezing temperatures, 4x4 plows may be deployed to simultaneously clear residential, or neighborhood, streets.
In addition to plowing the streets, Public Works may use anti-icer and de-icer to improve the condition of the roads. When snow starts to fall, the application of liquid magnesium chloride as an anti-icer will prevent the snow from bonding to the pavement, however weather conditions dictate when anti-icing can occur: If rain precedes snow or if pavement temperatures are too high, the liquid material will not stick to the street. Optimally, humidity levels should be high and pavement temperatures should be at or just below freezing.
After snow has accumulated on the pavement, Public Works will apply a de-icing agent to the streets to prevent the snow from building up and turning into ice. De-icing may be accomplished with the use of “Ice Slicer,” a dry, naturally mined mix of chlorides or with liquid magnesium chloride.