Road Maintenance>Winter Maintenance Policy

Winter Maintenance Policy


(Condensed Version)

 It is Stevens County’s policy to provide winter maintenance service to the travelling public in Stevens County.  The goal of this policy is to provide for safe and efficient transportation within constraints of the County’s budgetary resources, in accordance with RCW 36.33.220. Winter maintenance activities encompass snow plowing, sanding and other necessary activities. Minimal quantities of salt (sodium chloride) are added to county sand piles.  The prime function of the salt is to keep sand piles from freezing solid in the winter.  With regular washing and maintenance of vehicles, significant corrosion is not generally observed.

 During plowing operations it is impossible to prevent plowed snow from entering driveways.  Stevens County acknowledges and regrets this inevitable consequence of our plowing activities.  On occasion, a snowplow may strike a mailbox.  In this case, Stevens County is committed to replacing the damaged or destroyed mailbox.  On the other hand, because it is an unavoidable circumstance, Stevens County will not replace mailboxes damaged or destroyed by snow ejected from the plow. Also, it is important that cars, trucks, trailers, garbage cans and other personal property be parked off the roadway to allow for plowing.  Public safety is of paramount importance to Stevens County.  Accordingly, it is important that the motoring public keep a safe distance from snow removal and sanding equipment.  In addition, we ask that the public slow down in the vicinity of our equipment and pass only when safe.



All calls regarding county road plowing and/or sanding, other than those associated with accidents or emergencies, should be directed to the Administrative Office of Public Works, including after hour calls, by calling (509) 684-4548.  Emergency calls should be directed to the Emergency Dispatch Center by calling 911.

Procedure and Priority

Primary Roads, including all paved roads and high traffic/heavily used gravel roads will receive priority winter maintenance service.  These roads normally require eight (8) to eleven (11) hours to be initially cleared of snow and sanded.  It is not possible, because of our limited resources, to completely sand Primary Roads on the first day following a storm event. A storm event is defined as a snow event yielding greater than two inches of snow, freezing rain causing hazardous driving conditions, or other like weather conditions.  Additional plowing and sanding of Primary Roads will occur on the second day following a storm event provided there is no storm recurrence.  Secondary Roads include all other gravel roads receiving winter maintenance that are not designated Primary Roads.  These roadways will generally receive service on the second or third day following a storm event, depending on the severity of the event.  It is not possible to clear snow and sand secondary roads until all primary roads have been cleared and sanded.  Non-Winter Maintenance Roads are gravel roads, which because of limited resources and infrequent use receive no regular winter maintenance.  These roads are marked with signage that states “No Winter Maintenance Beyond This Point”.  Non-Winter Maintenance Roads should not be confused with “Primitive Roads.”


Routine/Daily Service

Winter maintenance activities following an over night storm occurring during the week will commence no later than 5:00 AM.  Winter maintenance activities for secondary roads will be accomplished following completion of primary road maintenance.  These activities will commence at 7:00 AM.

Weekend/Evening Service

Should an evening or weekend storm occur, a partial crew may be mobilized, if conditions warrant, to provide winter maintenance service on paved primary roads only.  Service to all other roadways will be accomplished during normal workweek time periods.

Accident or Emergency Service

At the request of a Law Enforcement Officer directly or through the Emergency Dispatch Center, a partial crew will be dispatched by the Public Works Department at any time to the scene of an accident in order to facilitate safe traffic flow on a county road.