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Evanston Public Works Agency Recognized for Excellence in Snow and Ice Control by American Public Works Association

EVANSTON, IL – In recognition of outstanding work to keep public ways safe during winter storms, the City of Evanston’s Public Works Agency has received the 2022 Excellence in Snow and Ice Control Award from the American Public Works Association (APWA). 

The APWA presents the award annually to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works snow and ice operations, use of best practices, and minimization of environmental impacts. Evanston is one of only five cities to receive the award in 2022. Other honorees include Dickinson, North Dakota; Lawrence, Kansas; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Schaumburg, Illinois. 

“This recognition is a testament to the exceptional efforts and close coordination of Public Works staff and our entire City of Evanston team in response to winter weather events, as well as the cooperation of residents and visitors,” said Acting Public Works Director Edgar Cano. “The Public Works Agency takes tremendous pride in keeping Evanston roadways safe for all users both during and after winter storms, and we continue to refine our plans year after year to ensure we’re following best practices and are prepared for whatever the season has in store.”

The City’s Public Works Agency is responsible for clearing 190 lane miles of streets, City parking lots and walkways adjacent to City property following winter weather events. The City prepares for winter year-round by servicing its fleet of 44 trucks and other pieces of equipment, and procuring salt and deicing materials to treat roadways.

During severe winter storms, up to 45 staff and supervisors are on duty per shift to clear streets and public ways, working around the clock, if necessary. The City also pre-treats major streets and school routes with anti-icing materials to slow the buildup of snow and ice ahead of anticipated winter weather.

Prior to the start of each winter season, the City has approximately 3,500 tons of road salt on hand. Public Works staff also make salt brine in-house, with the capacity to store up to 18,000 gallons. Additional materials, including Beet Heet, may be deployed depending on weather conditions. To reduce overall chloride and bulk salt use, the Public Works Agency pre-wets salt, deploys anti-ice (brine), calibrates salt spreaders, and customizes spread rates depending on conditions. The Agency also uses truck-mounted pavement sensors to detect if pavement requires treatment. 

Following an accumulation of snow, the City may implement temporary parking restrictions to allow crews to clear major thoroughfares and residential streets to the curb, with assistance from the Evanston Police Department and the City’s Parking Services Division. To keep community members informed about snow removal efforts and parking restrictions, the City provides email and text message notifications, shares updates on social media and the City’s website, and broadcasts messages on City Channel 16 and 1650 AM. Evanston 311 may also open for extended hours during severe winter weather events so that residents can ask questions and report any issues. (Learn more about snow parking restrictions and ways to stay informed.) 

The Public Works Agency will be honored at the North American Snow Conference in Pittsburgh on April 11.

For more information, please call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 311 in Evanston.