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Here's ACHD's Explanation of How It Prioritizes Snowplowing

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Temperatures remained low across the region Wednesday afternoon, dropping to 1 degree Fahrenheit in west-central Montana. - NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
  • National Weather Service
  • Temperatures remained low across the region Wednesday afternoon, dropping to 1 degree Fahrenheit in west-central Montana.
In the wake of a major weather maker that the National Weather Service expects to dump an additional half-foot of snow on the Treasure Valley, the Ada County Highway District sent out a press release late Wednesday morning, explaining that it had mobilized its entire fleet to combat what is expected to be a record snowfall.

The announcement comes after more than a few complaints, questioning ACHD's prioritization of snow removal.

"While ACHD is doing all that it can to maintain drivability on local streets, we join law enforcement in asking motorists to slow down, leave more follow distance between your vehicle and other traffic, and expect to take longer to get to destinations," read the statement.

According to ACHD officials, the district's response plan includes:
  1. Plowing and treating "priority routes," which include arterial (big) roads; collectors (mid-size) roads; and major intersections, overpasses and bridges. That also includes areas near hospitals, fire stations, schools, railroad crossings and streets with grades of 6 percent or more. ACHD officials said they expect to complete plowing and other treatment of their No. 1 priorities by 11 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 5.

  2. Next, ACHD plans to plow and treat all school bus priority routes, beginning 11 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5.

  3. Next, ACHD will plow routes connecting to smaller neighborhood streets, within residential areas, beginning 11 a.m., Friday, Jan. 6.
As of mid-morning, the National Weather Service reported a foot of snow on the ground at its office. With snow continuing to fall throughout the day Wednesday, meteorologists expect a 31-year snowfall record to be broken.

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