Snow & Ice Removal
Master Snow Plan:Winter of 2020-21
Clearing Snow Sensibly
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where can I call to get information about road conditions?
A: If you must travel during a storm and want information about road conditions, call:
Illinois Department of Transportation 1-312-368-4636
Illinois Tollway Information 1-800-865-5394
Weather Information 1-847-976-1213
The Village Hall, Police, Fire, and Public Works departments must keep their telephone lines open to handle emergencies and to deal with snow removal efforts. Please call those departments only in an emergency.
Does the Village salt all streets?
A: Typically all main thoroughfares, through streets, and cul-de-sacs have salt applied to them with priority given to thoroughfares and through streets first. The Vernon Hills Public Works Department uses rock salt (sodium chloride) as the initial response for winter precipitation. The rock salt is pre-wetted with a solution to accelerate the melting action. Rock salt brine solution is used for temperatures above 25°F. Liquid calcium chloride is the pre-wetting agent to accelerate the effect of rock salt at temperatures below 25°F. It is the most efficient and cost effective method of snow and ice control for smaller amounts of winter precipitation. The amount of salt used is determined on the basis of total accumulation, temperature, and traffic conditions. Salt application begins when precipitation (either snow or ice) starts to accumulate and cause unsafe travel conditions. To completely salt the Village streets takes about 2 to 4 hours.
Which roads are plowed by the Village?
A: The Village clears snow and ice from over 50 miles of roads within the Village limits. I-DOT crews handle snow and ice on Route 60, Route 21 and Route 45 and L-DOT crews maintain Butterfield Road.
How long does it take the Village crews to clear snow and ice from the Village Streets?
A: The goal of the Village is to clear snow and ice from Village streets within 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling.
The snow plow has not been down my street yet. Why not?
A: The Village is divided into several snow plow routes in order to provide timely plowing to all Village streets. In each route there are streets designated as emergency routes, school routes, side streets, cul-de-sacs and alleys. Depending upon the snow fall duration, hourly accumulations expected and time of day, crews may make changes in their assigned routes to keep the emergency and school routes open before starting on the side streets, cul-de-sacs or alleys.
Why are cul-de-sacs typically plowed last?
A: During snowfalls, snow plows concentrate on keeping main arterials clear for school traffic and emergency vehicles. Cul-de-sacs have the least amount of traffic-flow, and are the most time consuming streets to plow, on average, it takes 35 minutes to clear a cul-de-sac of snow, which is eight times longer per square yard of pavement plowed than it takes to plow a through street. Cul-de-sacs are also more difficult to clear because of the limited space in the parkway to dump snow without burying driveways, mailboxes, streetlights, or fire hydrants. There are 110 cul-de-sacs in Vernon Hills that the Village is responsible for plowing.
If we have an emergency during a snowstorm, how can a fire engine or ambulance get to my home?
A: If you have a life safety emergency, DIAL 911 at once. An emergency vehicle and a snowplow, if necessary, will be dispatched immediately to your home.
Large piles of snow end up at the end of my driveway after I just shoveled it out, can Public Works come out
again and clean out the end of my driveway?
A: Unfortunately, we do not have the manpower to clear snow plowed from the street that may be deposited at the end of driveways. There are at least 5,800 driveways in the Village. The best thing to do (if possible) is to wait until the street has been plowed from curb to curb before clearing your driveway. You will still have to clear the snow that is plowed from the street; however, you will only have to do it once. A good rule to follow when clearing your driveway is to shovel the snow to the right side of your driveway when facing the street; in the direction of traffic flow (View Clearing Snow Sensibly). Please do not shovel or blow snow into the street. This can cause dangerously slippery conditions for motorists and pedestrians.
The snowplow damaged my mailbox and the lawn in the parkway when it went down the street. Will the Village repair the damage?
A: Public Works crews will repair any damage to lawn or mailboxes caused by Village snowplows. If proof is available that damage was caused by Village snowplows, mailboxes will be temporarily repaired within 24 hours after notification, or a temporary mailbox will be issued. Report of a damaged mailbox should be made immediately to the Public Works Department following the snow event in which the damage occurred. The deadline to report any mailbox damage or repair option to the Village is April 15th. Permanent repairs to both mailboxes and lawns will be made when weather permits. For additional information please view our link to Mailbox Damages.
Do I have to shovel the snow off my sidewalk in front of my house?
A: The Village encourages residents to clear the public sidewalks adjacent to their properties in the interest of public safety. The State law protects property owners from any added liability if they shovel sidewalks. You are also asked to clear snow around fire hydrants to aid firefighters and around meters to aid meter readers. Village crews will clear certain sidewalks in the area of schools. After all street operations are completed, sidewalk snow removal will begin. The Public Works Department will clear sidewalks during the daylight hours, Monday through Friday.
During a snow event, may I park my car on the street?
A: In addition to the posted Village parking restrictions that prohibit parking from 2 AM until 6 AM, there is no parking on any Village streets within 12 hours after an accumulation of 2 inches of snow. The Village asks you, however, to park your car in your driveway once snow accumulation reaches two inches.
Will I be able to get my car out of the Metra commuter lot if it snows while I am at work?
A: When snowstorms hit during business hours, the road crews plow and salt exit lanes from the commuter lots. Unfortunately, the crews cannot clear snow around individual cars. After cars have left the parking area, remaining snow and ice is removed from the lots.
What can I do to help?
A: Thank you for asking! There are a number of things you can do to help.
- Please park your car in your driveway, not on the street, if there is more than a two-inch accumulation of snow.
- Keep any fire hydrants near your property free of snow so that they will be ready for us in an emergency.
- Keep your sidewalks free of ice and snow.
- Do not push/plow or blow snow from driveways onto Village streets or sidewalks. Also encourage your snow removal contractor to do the same.
- On garbage day, please remove your trash cans from the curbside or driveway as soon as possible. During the winter months, these containers tend to end up in the street where they can get damaged by snowplows and slow up the snow removal process. The Public Works Department is not responsible for damaged trash cans.
- Please call the Village Hall, Police, Fire, and Public Works departments only when there is a life safety situation.