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 are 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: Cul-de-sac 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 the Priority III and IV streets, which may require 24 to 48 hours to clear. 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 October 15 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 on 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.
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 Department of Streets Maintenance by email or by phone at 329-4444.
Use our Report It! tool to submit a concern about City of Portage snowplowing activities or to report damage to your mailbox.
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.