Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Snow plowing priorities

Snowplow creating a path on highway 127

The following tables show the typical snow plowing priorities that the county highway departments follow when maintaining the state's highways during the winter season. 

Interstate/freeway
First priority Driving lanes, paved shoulders, ramps, interchanges, and passing lanes
Second priority State maintained side roads and frontage roads
Third priority Shoulders, rest area ramps
Clean up (non-overtime hours) Shoulders, ramp gores, bridge decks (outside driving lanes), rest area parking, barriers, guardrail, weigh stations, crossovers, park-and-ride lots

Expressway
First priority Driving lanes, paved shoulders, ramps, interchanges, and passing lanes
Second priority Turn lanes, intersections, interchanges, two-way-left-turn-lanes, state maintained side roads and frontage roads
Third priority Shoulders, rest area ramps
Clean up (non-overtime hours) Shoulders, ramp gores, bridge decks (outside driving lanes), rest area parking, barriers, guardrail, crossovers, two-way-left-turn-lanes, park-and-ride lots, roadside facilities (when open)

Two lane highways
First priority Driving lanes, paved shoulders, intersections
Second priority Intersections, passing lanes, climbing lanes
Third priority Shoulders, two-way-left-turn-lanes
Clean up (non-overtime hours) Shoulders, islands, medians, bridge decks (outside driving lanes), guardrail, walkways, park-and-ride lots, roadside facilities (when open)

Exceptions

The above plowing priorities are intended as a guide for winter operations and changes may be deemed appropriate based on local conditions.

Questions about the content of this page:
Michael Sproul, michael.sproul@dot.state.wi.us

Last modified: October 7, 2009

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