Snow and Ice Control
The Gurnee Public Works Department is responsible for the Village’s snow and ice control operations on 243 centerline miles of public streets and 350 cul-de-sac and dead end streets within the corporate limits of the Village. The Public Works Department operates under the guidance of the 2023-2024 Snow and Ice Control Plan, which establishes control methods and procedures for winter weather events designed to reduce threats to public safety and the traveling public. The procedures established provide details pertaining to the personnel, equipment and materials to be used on the Village’s 11 designated plow routes during SIC operations. View a map of the Village's snow routes.
Salting operations typically begin as streets become slippery, while snowplowing operations commence when more than one (1) inch of snow has accumulated on Village streets. SIC operations are conducted simultaneously on all of Village’s 11 plow routes to ensure uniform coverage of critical areas such as main arterial roads, intersections, curves, hills, and school zones. During an average 4” snowfall a single pass is designed to take between 4-6 hours but the intensity and duration of a storm can drastically affect response times.
Salt use is minimized for environmental benefits and to reduce the impact on the local watershed. Public Works utilizes liquid ice melting chemicals to pre-treat granular salt before spreading it on the roadway. Pre-wetting the salt helps reduce scattering off the target roadway, increases the effectiveness of salt at lower temperatures, and provides the necessary moisture speed up the ice melting process.
- Mailbox Damage
- Snow and Ice Control Program
- What Can I Do To Help
- When Are Sidewalks Cleared
- When are the Streets Plowed
- Who Clears State And County Roads
- Why Do We Use Road Salt
- Why Is Snow Always Left At The End Of My Driveway
- Why Is Snow Piled On My Corner
The Gurnee Public Works Department is responsible for the Village’s snow and ice control operations on 243 centerline miles of public streets and 350 cul-de-sac and dead end streets within the corporate limits of the Village. The Village is divided into 11 snow routes. Each route is assigned a large truck, which is responsible for the plowing and salting of the primary and secondary roads, and a small truck, which handles the cul-de-sac and dead end streets. View a map of the Village's snow routes.
The Village does not maintain any roads that fall under the jurisdiction of other agencies. Route 132 (Grand Avenue), Route 21 (Milwaukee Avenue), Route 41, Route 45 and Route 120 (Belvidere Road) are maintained by the Illinois Department of Transportation (847-244-0034). Hunt Club Road, Washington Street, O'Plaine Road, Gages Lake Road, Stearns School Road east of Dilleys Road, Dilleys Road north of Route 132, Greenleaf Street south of Washington Street and Delany Road north of Route 41 are maintained by the Lake County Division of Transportation (847-362-3950).
Salting operations begin as soon as streets become slippery, while snowplowing operations commence when more than one (1) inch of snow has accumulated on Village streets. All of the Village’s 11 main routes are salted and plowed simultaneously to ensure coverage of critical areas such as main arterial roads, intersections, curves, hills, and school zones. Salt use is minimized for environmental benefits and to reduce the impact on the watershed and other areas that receive storm water runoff.
Public Works utilizes liquid ice melting chemicals for anti-icing and pre-wetting operations. Anti-icing is the application of a liquid blend of salt brine, sugar beet molasses, magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride on selected pavements before a snow or ice event. Anti-icing is intended to disrupt the bond that forms between ice particles and the pavement surface; this allows more response time to snow events and reduces the amount of salt otherwise required. Pre-wetting is the process of spraying granular salt with liquid ice melting chemicals before spreading the salt on the roadway. Pre-wetting the salt helps it cling to the road instead of bouncing off or being swept off by traffic. To be effective as a deicing agent, salt requires moisture. Pre-wetting provides the necessary moisture to dissolve the salt, releasing heat, and thereby melting the ice and snow, as well as breaking the ice-road bond.
Snowplowing operations of all 11 main routes usually encompass between four (4) to six (6) hours to complete depending on the severity of the snowstorm. In heavy snowstorms however, crews will make two passes down each street and a single pass into cul-de-sacs to make streets and cul-de-sacs accessible. Full width plowing operations, from curb to curb, are completed after the snowstorms have diminished.
Every winter storm is unique. The variables of precipitation type (sleet, wet snow or fluffy flakes), temperature (air and surface; dropping or rising), time of day (day, night, weekend and/or rush hour), wind speed and direction, event duration and post-storm weather prediction, all affect the manner and effectiveness of snow fighting.
Please view the 2023-2024 Snow and Ice Control Plan for more details.
If you have any questions regarding the Village’s snow and ice control operations, please call the Gurnee Public Works Department at (847) 599-6800. For snow-related emergencies after 3:00 p.m., please contact the Gurnee Police Department’s non-emergency number at (847) 599-7000.
The following tips, when followed, help ensure snow and ice control operations proceed smoothly:
When clearing sidewalks and driveways, do not shovel, blow or plow snow onto the roadway. Village ordinance prohibits placing snow onto the roadway once it has been cleared. Placing snow in the street requires additional staff time to clear the roadway system and you could be liable for damages or injuries resulting from this practice.
When it starts to snow, park your vehicle off of the street. This allows crews to clear the entire roadway and prevents the car from being plowed in, ticketed, or towed.
Please try to clear the snow around fire hydrants. This simple step could save precious time during an emergency.
Please remove portable basketball hoops, benches and decor from the street right-of-way. The Village is not responsible for damage to these items resulting from our snow removal operations.
Check that your mailbox and post are in good repair and that they are behind the curb, not leaning out over the street. For specifications on mailbox placement, please reference the Mailbox Replacement Policy.
The Public Works Department clears sidewalks within the Village Center area and along routes such as Almond Road and O'Plaine Road and sections of Rte 132. Sidewalk clearing is typically completed within 72 hours after a snow event.
Plowing operations commence when the snow begins to accumulate and temperatures indicate that no melting will occur. The Village has developed a priority system for plowing the roadway system. Mainline or “collector” streets are given first priority. Examples of these streets are Almond Road, First Street, Lawson Boulevard and Dada Drive. Local streets, which are the side streets that feed into the collectors, are given second priority. Dead ends and cul-de-sacs are given third priority, and may not be salted during an initial call out. The extent of the response to a snow event will be determined by the Public Works “Snow Boss” based on existing weather conditions, pavement temperatures, time of day, and forecast.
The Village of Gurnee is bisected by a number of State of Illinois and Lake County arterial highways, but the Village does not maintain any roads that fall under the jurisdiction of another agency. The roadways identified below are NOT the responsibility of the Village of Gurnee.
Rt. 132 (Grand Ave.), Rt. 41 (Skokie Highway), Rt. 21 (Milwaukee Ave.), Rt. 120 (Belvidere Rd.), and Rt. 45 are plowed and maintained by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). They can be reached at 847-244-0034.
Hunt Club Road, Washington Street, O’Plaine Road, Greenleaf Avenue (south of Washington), Dilley’s Road (north of Rt. 132), Gages Lake Road, Delany Road (north of Rt. 41), Sunset Ave and Stearns School Road are plowed and maintained by the Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT). They can be reached at 847-377-7400.
Salting is necessary to accelerate snow melt and prevent melted snow from turning to ice. Once ice forms and becomes bonded to the pavement, it becomes very difficult to remove. Salt use is minimized for environmental benefits and to reduce the impact on the local watershed. Public Works utilizes liquid ice melting chemicals to pre-treat granular salt before spreading it on the roadway. Pre-wetting the salt helps reduce scattering off the target roadway, increases the effectiveness of salt at lower temperatures, and provides the necessary moisture speed up the ice melting process.
While it’s frustrating to shovel your driveway only to have the plow come by and push snow back at the base, it is not feasible to plow the street so that your driveway remains completely “snow free.” Roadway design, the type of equipment that is utilized and the severity of snow events all factor into the size of the windrow left in the plow's wake. This problem is magnified in cul-de-sacs because there is often limited parkway space for snow storage, and centrifugal force causes the snow to move off of the plow toward the outside of the circle.
To minimize snow deposits at the end of your driveway, try not to create large piles of snow in the parkway on the upstream side of the driveway and never shovel or blow snow into the street.
Snow that accumulates across the side road at an intersection must be pushed back to allow visibility and to clear the entire street radius so vehicles may turn off of or onto a roadway. The snowplow operator will typically push snow onto the corner in the direction the truck is traveling. Depending on route design and the flow of traffic, some corners may get more snow than others. It is not practical to equally distribute snow on opposite corners.
If there is an accumulation of snow at a corner where there is a bus stop, children may need to move up the street in order to board the school bus. Please instruct children not to climb on the piles that have accumulated at the corners. If a snow pile on a particular corner becomes a sight clearance problem at an intersection, please call the Public Works Department and the snow will be removed as time permits.