Department of Public Works - Highways
The Bureau of Highways staff is dedicated to insuring the safety of the traveling public while providing timely service to our citizen and business communities during inclement weather by planning and executing our winter operations activities on more than 6,300 County-maintained roads and streets. Anne Arundel County does not have a program for plowing State roads, private roads or parking areas in private communities.
Winter operations activities related to snow and ice control include plowing snow from the roadway and shoulders, and responsibly applying deicing chemicals to arterial and collector roads and isolated icy spots to facilitate snow plowing.
Anne Arundel County uses covered storage facilities for its road salt and stores a total of approximately 11,650 tons of salt at the following locations: Dover Road (Glen Burnie), Mountain Road (Pasadena), Crownsville Road (Annapolis), Broadneck Road (St. Margarets), Duckins Street (Odenton), West Central Avenue (Davidsonville), and at a storage yard in Friendship, MD. At the present time, a small portion of Anne Arundel County’s fleet is equipped with liquid calcium chloride pre-wetting equipment. Pre-wetting dry salt during its application helps the salt to adhere to the roadway. In contrast, dry salt can “bounce” and blow off the roadway and be less effective.
Deicing materials are an effective tool for maintaining safe winter road conditions. However, Anne Arundel County is aware that excessive use can have negative impacts on the environment. We strive to only apply as much salt as necessary to achieve safe driving conditions. So, what are some of the environmental concerns associated with road salts? Heavy use of road salts has been assessed to cause damage to vegetation, organisms in soil, birds and to other wildlife. Chloride ions from road salts find their way eventually into waterways, whether by direct runoff into surface water or by moving through the soil and groundwater. In surface water, road salts can harm freshwater plants, fish and other organisms that are not adapted to living in saline waters.
Planning for snow removal operations begins in the summer. Private companies factor heavily in our snow removal plan as this helps control the costs of snow removal operations. Contracting needs are determined and the process to secure snow removal contractors begins in July. In the fall months, both County owned and contractor equipment is inspected and prepared for winter service. Information for our citizen and business communities regarding the County’s snow removal program is also developed and prepared for outreach efforts in the fall. During the spring months, a thorough review of the previous year’s snow removal activities is conducted. Necessary changes are documented for implementation in the upcoming snow season.
In winter months, as soon as snow begins to accumulate, equipment is dispatched to service arterial and collector roadways. Our next priority will be insuring each community road is passable. Passable means that although the road may be snow-covered or snow-packed, at least one travel lane will be accessible with a front-wheel drive car. All-weather tires are a must. If our snowplow driver determines that your street meets our definition of passable, no further service will be provided.
Please help us to serve you better by parking your vehicles in your driveway during a winter storm if at all possible. If off-street parking is not available, parking your vehicles on one side of the road is recommended. If our snowplow driver cannot safely access your street due to on-street parking, service will be delayed until adequate access is available or until smaller equipment becomes available.If you are unsure of your street type (main, community, etc.), please visit our Level of Service Page
where you can enter your address to learn this information. You can also enter an online request for snow removal from this page if you think that the stated level of service has not been met. If your street is privately owned, snow removal is the responsibility of the street’s owner.
Courtesy of C. Hall, MD Gazette
Snow removal on sidewalks is the responsibility of the homeowner. In many instances, these sidewalks are used by children as school walking routes. Your neighbors will thank you for keeping your sidewalks free of snow.
For a complete list of snow removal tips, please visit ourSnow Information Page.
During a typical storm (under 4 inches), snow removal operations on County-maintained roadways should be completed within 24-36 hours after the end of the storm. For more information regarding our service levels during inclement weather, please view our Travel Guide
. In order to meet these published levels of service, County forces are supplemented with contractor forces. The County currently has a fleet of 72 dump trucks and 84 other pieces of snow removal equipment that can be used during a winter storm response. This includes heavy construction equipment such as road graders, skidsteer loaders, and backhoes that would only be used for snow removal under the most severe winter conditions. Our fleet is supplemented with approximately 150 pieces of contractor-owned snow removal equipment. This contractor fleet is on retainer with Anne Arundel County and is available for any winter operation. However, during a declared blizzard emergency, Anne Arundel County forces, even supplemented by contractor forces, may not meet our Travel Guide’s published levels of service.
During significant storm events (over 4" of accumulation), our Department Operations Center is activated. It is staffed around the clock to coordinate County-wide snow removal operations and can activate its own Call Center to assist in answering citizen concerns if call volumes dictate. You can reach our Department
Operations Center at (410) 222-4040 or if you prefer, you can enter an Online Request for Service at our Snow Information Page