Summer & Winter Street Maintenance
Warm Weather Maintenance
Potholes are caused by the freeze-thaw cycle that generally runs from mid-February to sometime in April. During the warm part of the day, the road surface thaws and run-off collects in the cracks in the pavement. When the temperature falls below freezing again, the ground and water re-freezes and naturally expands, which breaks up the pavement. Then traffic pops out these broken sections of pavement, creating potholes.
During pothole season, City maintenance crews repair these nuisances daily. Priority is given to the more heavily traveled roads, but all holes are repaired as detected. Unfortunately, with the cold patch materials used for repair and with the thawing and re-freezing conditions, a pothole can be repaired one day and need to be repaired again in a day or two.
If you notice a dangerously large or deep pothole, please contact the City Street Maintenance Department at 763-593-8082 so it can be taken care of as soon as possible.
Sealcoating is the most common method of preventive street maintenance. It's a surface treatment that seals and protects existing pavement and adds new life but does not add significant structural strength.
Golden Valley uses a single surface treatment, which means a single application of asphalt is sprayed on the existing bituminous surface, followed immediately by a single layer of aggregate (small pieces of rock) of as uniform a size as practical. The treatment is about 7/16 of an inch thick-the maximum size aggregate particles used. This type of treatment provides for excellent wear and waterproofing and also improves skid resistance.
Here are a few things you can expect during the sealcoating process:
- Streets will be well marked with signals and cones. Use alternate routes if possible.
- Drive slowly over the rock; don't spin your tires.
- Excess rocks will become bumpy and will be swept as soon as the new surface is ready to be exposed.
- Roads will be swept as necessary throughout the summer and early fall. It may take three or four times before all the excess rock is picked up.
Don't forget: drive slowly and be patient. Crews doing the road work appreciate your cooperation. If you have questions about a particular street, contact Street Maintenance at 763-593-8082.
Golden Valley Street Maintenance crews sweep and clean city streets from March to November as the weather permits.
Street Sweeping Rotation
Golden Valley is divided into four sections for street sweeping. This allows crews to rotate sections each year so no area is always first or last.
- Section I boundaries: Winnetka Ave, north City limit, south City limit, west City limit
- Section II boundaries: Winnetka Ave, north City limit, Hwy 100, Hwy 55
- Section III boundaries: Hwy 100, north City limit, east City limit, Hwy 55
- Section IV boundaries: Hwy 55, Winnetka Ave, south City limit, east City limit
March: bulk sweeping
April: all streets, curb to curb
The first priority each spring is "bulk sweeping" of major intersections, hilly areas, and high traffic roads, where large amounts of sand are distributed in the winter. A special effort is made to focus on areas near Bassett Creek so that sand and debris doesn't end up in the creek. After this is complete, crews move into neighborhoods, usually in early April, minimizing the chance of a plowable snow while the street sweepers are in action. If the weather cooperates, spring sweeping is done by May 1.
June: sweep all streets at gutter line
July and August: clean low collection areas and sweep as determined necessary
October and November: after waiting for the majority of leaves to fall, sweep all streets curb to curb at least once.
Cold Weather Maintenance
In Golden Valley, the City calls a snow emergency after snow accumulates to two inches or more. When snowfall continues for long periods, crews plow main arterial routes and "through" streets that connect neighborhoods to State and County roads to keep these roads passable until all City streets can be plowed. If strong winds and drifting cause unsafe conditions for snowplow drivers, plowing stops until conditions improve. However, efforts are made to continue plowing during rush hour to help people get home safely.
Golden Valley also plows sidewalks. Depending on weather conditions, this usually starts about two hours after the streets. Follow-up passes are made as needed.
Snow Removal From Private Property
Removal of snow and ice from private property to a roadway, across a roadway, or onto a sidewalk or adjacent property is prohibited by City ordinance. When snow is being removed from your driveway or parking lot (whether you do it or hire someone to do it), make sure it stays off of roadways, sidewalks, and adjacent property. Improper snow removal can result in many complications, some of which can be very dangerous. If you or your plowing contractor have questions regarding this issue, contact the Public Works Maintenance Manager at 763-593-3981. To report an ordinance violation, contact the Property Maintenance Inspector at 763-593-8074.
Parking On Public Streets
Parking is prohibited on any public street after a snowfall of at least two inches until the snow has been plowed to the curb line. Keep in mind that the Minneapolis snow emergency announcements on TV and radio do not apply to Golden Valley. All Golden Valley streets are plowed on schedule after a snowfall.
After a snowfall of at least two inches, supervisors from the Public Works and Police Departments confer and determine when enforcement will commence. Vehicles in violation are cited by patrolling police, and those still in violation after 24 hours may be towed. After two inches of snowfall, vehicles parked in locations that create an extreme hazard may be towed immediately by the police or at the request of State, County, or City street maintenance personnel.
Each winter, stay informed of the weather forecasts and move your vehicle from the streets when necessary.
Sometimes property damage occurs when snowplows are operating.
The City doesn't assume liability for damages to obstacles in the road right-of-way (irrigation heads, landscaping, etc). If possible, remove these obstacles from the right-of-way or mark them clearly to aid plow drivers.
Mailboxes, which are generally an obstruction in City’s right-of-way, are repaired or replaced only if the plow makes direct contact (sometimes snow from the plow can dislodge the box from the post or bend a weak post). Make sure your mailbox post is solid and securely fastened to the box.
The City will conduct a review of each mailbox incident to determine whether a snow plow came into direct contact with the mailbox or support structure. The City will only repair mailboxes actually hit by a snow plow and installed to United States Postal Service Residential Mailbox Standards (see drawing). The City will not be responsible for damage to mailboxes or support posts caused by snow or ice coming into contact with the mailbox.
Based on the City’s review, the City will repair the mailbox to an operational state, or if the mailbox is unable to be adequately repaired, the City will replace the mailbox with a standard size, non-decorative metal mailbox. If necessary, the City may also replace the support post with a 4-inch x 4-inch decay resistant wood support post. Dents, scratches, or other superficial damage that does not prohibit normal use of the mailbox will be considered normal wear and tear and will not be repaired or replaced by the City.
Often, plow drivers literally "feel" their way along streets because of conditions, and regrettably, lawns are cut up. If this happens to you, please report it to Street Maintenance at 763-593-8030. Damages are repaired each spring with black dirt and seed or sod.
Don't Crowd the Plow!
We all share in the responsibility of keeping our roads safe. That's why it is very important for residents, especially children, to know what they can do to help snow plow operators:
- Plows travel slower than other vehicles. Reduce your speed.
- Never drive into a snow cloud.
- Don't pass snowplow vehicles while they're plowing.
- Keep your distance from trucks spreading sand.
- Stay away from the end of a driveway when a snowplow is approaching.
- Keep sleds and toys away from the street when they're not being used.
- Don't build snow forts in the snow piles on the boulevard.
- Stay out from behind snow removal equipment. Frequent backing is necessary during plowing, and visibility to the rear is very limited.
- Keep garbage cans up in the driveway if it snows on garbage collection day.
City crews use a sand-salt mixture on icy areas. This doesn't guarantee totally ice-free streets, so drive carefully even where sanding is evident. Priority areas are sanded first, and all other areas are done when time permits. Priority areas include:
- intersections of City streets and County and State roads, school and pedestrian crossings, bridge decks, and all arterial street stop sign intersections
- street intersections having higher than average traffic volumes, and streets with hills and curves
- all other stop signs, and areas deemed hazardous by City crews or Public Safety officials