Snow Removal

The snow removal program is designed to keep city streets clear and safe in the most efficient manner possible. Questions about snow removal operations may be directed to the Streets Maintenance Division by 
email or by phone at 329-4444.

U.S. Postal Service Mailbox Guidelines

Mailboxes are one of the only objects allowed by law to be placed in the road right-of-way. The location and construction of mailboxes must conform to the rules and regulations of the U.S. Postal Service and standards established by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)” in the Roadside Design Guide. Detailed information regarding guidelines can be found at your local post office and at

The best mailbox supports are stable but bend or fall away if a car hits them. Position your mailbox 41" to 45" from the road surface to the bottom of the mailbox or point of mail entry. Place your mailbox 6" to 8" back from the curb or edge of the pavement for those areas that do not have raised curb. Put your house or apartment number on the mailbox.


"Shake Your Mailbox" Every October!

Taking time to tighten screws and secure mail receptacles can prevent serious headaches later. If the mailbox moves when shaken, the mailbox and/or post may not withstand standard snow removal operations and should be repaired or replaced prior to the onset of winter.  Replace loose hinges on the mailbox door and replace or add reflective house numbers to allow postal workers and emergency responders to easily find your home.

Snow Removal Plan

The City of Portage operates a comprehensive snow removal program each winter to ensure the maximum degree of safety to the motoring public. As early as 3:30 a.m., snowplow operators area at work plowing, sanding and salting city streets.  In order to maximize benefit to Portage residents, streets are prioritized according to how heavily the streets are traveled in the following manner: 

Priority I:  All major streets (examples include South Westnedge Avenue, Oakland Drive, Milham Avenue, Kilgore Road, Shaver Road, Lovers Lane, etc.)

Priority II:  All primary “feeder” streets leading into various residential neighborhoods, including access streets to all schools.

Priority III:  All interior neighborhood streets.

Priority IV:  Clean up of cul-de-sacs and dead end streets.

When a major snow event is in progress, every effort is made to keep Priority I and II streets clear. Usually, the snowplow operators can complete all Priority I and II streets in four (4) to eight (8) hours. Once the major roads are clear, the snow plow operators begin clearing all interior neighborhood streets and providing access to cul-de-sacs and dead end streets; this usually requires an additional 24 to 48 hours. De-icing materials are applied as needed throughout the duration of a snow event, with major streets, bridges, intersections, hills and curves receiving priority attention. As a major storm moves through the area, city crews will continue efforts to ensure streets are properly plowed and de-iced. Residents are reminded that Portage has 219 miles of city streets to plow and the plow trucks normally travel through heavy snow at speeds of only 15 to 25 mph. Major thoroughfares receive primary attention and are kept as clear as possible.

To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of City of Portage snowplowing operations, residents are asked to abide by city ordinances and state law:

  • Chapter 78, Article 1, Section 78-2 of the Portage Code of Ordinances prohibits vehicle parking on the city roadways between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. from November 1 to April 15.  Vehicles parking on the streets during this time period interfere with snowplowing activities.
  • Chapter 66, Article 1, Section 66-2 of the Portage Code of Ordinances prohibits residents from having basketball stands in the city right-of-way. Likewise, during trash and recycling removal days, citizens are requested to keep their containers on the curbs verses in the actual roadways.  These items impede safe snowplowing operations and can damage equipment on the trucks.
  • Michigan State Law (MCL 257.677a) prohibits residents and private snowplow operators from depositing snow from private driveways, parking lots and sidewalks onto any public roadway.

Citizen Alerts and Weather-Related Information

Local television and radio stations are the best source of weather-related alerts and information.  Information as to snowplowing progress will be updated on this page as appropriate. 

Report It!

Use our Report It! tool to submit any concerns about City of Portage snowplowing activities or to report damage to your mailbox.