Snow FAQ's

The Department of Public Works is ready for another snow season! Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers from Lombard’s Public Works Department: 

What can I do to be ready for a winter storm?
Preparedness is key! Winter in the Chicagoland area is no joke. When it comes to cold weather and hazardous driving conditions, taking a few minutes to prepare ahead of time can make all the difference when faced with a winter storm power outage, or flat tire while driving. Here are a few informational resources to help you prepare for winter weather:
How does Lombard's Snow Removal Plan work?
Visit to view a complete PDF of Public Works' 2015/2016 Winter Snow Plan. 

snowplowGet to know your snow plow driver!
 When winter weather threatens to impact our area, our Public Works crews gear up and head out to help keep our Village roads safe. These individuals are our first line of defense when it comes to winter weather. They are the unsung heroes who work overnight shifts in winter storms, to keep us safe. Ever wonder about the people who plow your streets? From their favorite sports teams, to the names of their family and pets, get to know your snow plow driver! Find out more at

How are streets prioritized?
There are 166 miles of streets in Lombard, which is the distance to Madison, WI. The policy is really as simple as the busier the street, the higher the priority. Public Works will respond immediately whenever requested by the Police or Fire Department for an emergency.  Crews work around the clock in nine zones until the job is done.(View the Snow Plan at

  1. All streets accessible for emergency vehicles
  2. Arterial & collector streets passable for general public 
  3. Local streets passable for general public
  4. Arterial & collector streets to normal conditions
  5. Commuter parking lots and public buildings accessible
  6. Corners pushed back within two blocks of schools
  7. Local streets to normal conditions
  8. Alleys accessible
  9. Snow removed from middle of certain lengths of Main Street, St. Charles Rd. and Westmore-Meyers Rd.
  10. Corners pushed back everywhere 

    New this season will be the contracting out for the commuter parking lots, as well as the adjacent Village-maintained sidewalk.
When will my street be plowed?
Snow map image visit our interactive snow route map to type in your address, and find out what priority route your home is located. Please read below to find out how these routes are determined. 

What rules do I need to follow during a snow event for safe snow removal?
Local ordinances are meant to allow snow removal to be done as efficiently and safely as possible. Two main rules to remember are:
  1. Do not park on the street after one inch of snow has fallen
  2. Do not place snow onto a street, sidewalk or alley.  
After one inch of snowfall, and sometimes sooner, trucks have their plows down, which increases the chances for an accident with a parked car. Side view mirrors are an occasional casualty of cars unlawfully parked on the street.  In addition, the inability to clear the entire road will either delay the operation or leave an un-cleared area.  The Police Department has the ability to issue tickets and have vehicles towed.

How can I keep my driveway from being plowed in? (See Image)
driveway clear2The plows push snow toward the curb so a driveway opening will necessarily accept more snow than a curb face.  In order to minimize the amount in the driveway, leave snow in place for the last foot of the driveway until the snow removal operation is done, which is after the streets have been cleared to the curb face.

What does the Village’s snow operation involve?
  • Village employees drive 18-27 trucks in nine zones in shifts that range from 8 to 12 hours until the work is completed.  
  • For a snowfall up to eight inches, operations typically last for ten hours after the snowfall has stopped.  
  • Most of the 56 employees in Public Works perform duties during winter storms.  
  • Salting and plowing is done by maintenance workers, water operators, mechanics, and engineering technicians.  
  • Administrative staff directs the operation, monitors weather reports, answers the phones, investigates reported concerns, and issues public information.  
  • Repairs for water main breaks and potholes are also performed concurrently with snow operations.  
  • Because our main focus is to clear streets for our residents, a contractor is used to clear Village-owned parking lots and the adjacent sidewalks.
Why is snow plowed into the center of Main, St. Charles and Westmore-Meyers?
 Certain lengths of these roads have sidewalk directly adjacent to the curb and heavy pedestrian use.  As a result, crews push snow into a “windrow”, to later either be melted if pavement temperatures allow or removed by a truck-mounted snow-blower and semi-trucks.

What are those lines on the streets?
Crews spray a brine solution onto the busy streets in anticipation of snow or ice.  This solution consists mostly of normal salt brine, but sometimes with a portion of calcium chloride (for low temperatures) and beet juice (to reduce the chloride content and enhance adherence). This enables safer travel at the start of a storm, more time for crews to mobilize after hours (especially in the middle of the night), eliminates overtime for minor accumulations, and reduces the amount of chlorides entering our receiving waterways.

St Charles at Park 1The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has identified chlorides as a pollutant that harms the ability of waterways to host fish and the insects that they rely upon.  Lombard and our neighboring communities have been actively reducing the amount of chlorides (most notably, rock salt) used in the watersheds of the East Branch DuPage River and Salt Creek.  The use of anti-icing before a storm helps greatly in this manner. Brine is also sprayed onto rock salt as it is dispersed from trucks in order to reduce the scatter off the street and make it work faster. Lombard has been able to reduce its salt application rate by half as a result of these practices, thus saving money and doing better for our environment. 

How much salt should I use on my residential driveway?
Don’t overuse salt! One pound of salt (approximately one coffee mug) is enough for a residential driveway, and a hand-held spreader helps to distribute it equally. The Illinois State Water Survey reports an increase of salt in our natural environment. Once dissolved, salt washes into soil and permanently pollutes our water. Here’s how you can help: 
  • Apply salt before snow fall to prevent bonding. This makes snow/ice easier to remove, and uses less salt.
  • Use masonry sand to help prevent slippery surfaces.
  • Let the sun do the melting.
Who is responsible for sidewalk clearing of snow in front of businesses? 
Lombard ordinance requires snow removal from public sidewalks adjacent to commercial properties. Within 24 hours of the end of each snowstorm, public sidewalks (near the street) adjacent to commercial properties must have a path cleared to provide safe passage so pedestrians do not have to walk in the street.  This is particularly important in areas of high pedestrian traffic including Main Street near Glenbard East High School, Downtown, and along Roosevelt Road.   

While the ordinance does not require snow removal from public sidewalks abutting residential properties, the same hazards exist. Some people have expressed a concern regarding liability involved in removing snow, but the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act (745 ILCS 75/2) provides that anyone who "removes or attempts to remove snow or ice from sidewalks abutting the property shall not be liable for any personal injuries allegedly caused by the snowy or icy condition of the sidewalk."

Please help keep the pedestrians of our community safe by keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice. For more information please call our Code Enforcement phone number at (630)620-5757.

Where can I learn more?
More information and major storm response updates are available at Questions may be directed to or (630) 620-5740. Other roadway agencies working during storms include IDOT on the State routes (view IDOT's Road Condition Map), DuDOT on the County roads, and York and Milton Townships on their unincorporated roads.