City and county prepare for winter

December 5, 2013

City and county officials are gearing up for winter weather and problems with streets.

Tulsa’s Streets and Stormwater Dept. handles the snow and ice response on the city arterial streets with 170 drivers and support staff assigned to 35 specific routes, totaling 1,768 lane-miles.

There are 63 truck-mounted salt/sand spreaders, 45 truck-mounted snow plows, seven 4×4 pick-ups equipped with snow plows and three motor graders for use as plows. Tulsa also has 14,500 tons of salt to treat Tulsa streets.

Spreading and plowing routes are prioritized based on traffic counts. Once the main streets are cleared and conditions permit, secondary or residential streets near hospitals, schools and areas with steep hills are cleared.

Tulsa County is responsible for 750 lane-miles and more than 200 bridges. Tulsa County has 25 vehicles including trucks, graders and plows for snow removal. More than 100 employees are available to treat roads with a sand/salt mix across the county.

City street maintenance supervisors monitor weather forecasts and can summon workers at any time of the day or night to begin spreading salt or sand on Tulsa arterial streets. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is responsible for most expressways.

Over the past couple of years, Tulsa has also devoted more resources to its winter response operations for Tulsa Police, MTTA and other agencies to add four-wheel-drive vehicles and other equipment needed during winter storms. Mayor Dewey Bartlett and the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency in November hosted a table-top exercise with City of Tulsa personnel and supporting partner agencies to focus on operations for winter storm preparation, which helps enhance inter-department cooperation and support in a severe weather event.