Tulsa prepares for cold weather problems with city streets

As winter approaches, officials from the City of Tulsa Streets and Stormwater Department, Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service described winter weather preparedness.

The City of Tulsa is responsible for clearing snow and ice from certain segments of the Tulsa expressway system and all arterial (main) streets. Other expressway segments in Tulsa are the responsibility of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. The goal of the program is to make expressways and arterial streets safe and passable as soon as possible. These resources are available:

  • 67 truck-mounted salt spreaders
  • 49 truck-mounted snow plows (of the 67 trucks with spreaders, 49 have plows.)
  • 7 4×4 pick-up trucks equipped with snow plows
  • 3 motor graders for use as plows
  • 170 employees (including drivers and support staff)
  • Approximately 12,500 tons of salt on hand
  • 2 salt brine systems equipped with 2 applicators

New to the City of Tulsa this year, the salt brine system will serve as an anti-icing agent by helping prevent precipitation from bonding to the roadway. Crews are assigned to 35 specific routes totaling 1,770 lane-miles, which is approximately the same distance if you were driving from Tulsa to San Francisco.

Spreading and plowing routes are prioritized based on traffic counts. Once the main streets are cleared and conditions permit, selected residential streets may be treated based upon traffic and steepness. During winter weather response, the first focus is to clear city arterial streets for emergency responders. After arterial streets are clear, the second focus then moves to residential or collector streets near hospitals, schools and areas with steep hills.