Lake Holiday Snow Removal Protocols & Procedures

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Written by Mike Goodwin

On December 16, 2019

Best Practices:

Snow Removal Protocols & Procedures

The Lake Holiday Country Club General Manager is responsible for coordinating the efforts and managing road maintenance during times of inclement weather conditions.  The Maintenance Supervisor directs onsite activities during actual winter weather events and communicates and updates the GM regarding progress and issues during such events.

During his long tenure, the Association has reviewed a wealth of documentation regarding best management practices (BMPs) as it pertains to road maintenance/management.  In addition, Association representatives have consulted with various representatives of the Virginia Department of Transportation, Winchester City Public Works, and Frederick County Public Works in an effort to stay up-to-date with the latest best management practices being utilized in the Northern Virginia region. The current Lake Holiday Maintenance Team is intimately familiar with the difficulties and logistics involved in keeping LHCC roadways safe during such weather events, having a combined total of more than 55-years’ experience addressing winter weather impacts to the LHCC roadways.

The combined sum of knowledge both from relevant staff experience and from the wealth of cumulative data gathered from various transportation departments and municipalities, has led to the following conclusions which help guide specific actions during winter weather events:

  • Plowing less than an inch of snow is largely ineffective, and it requires the removal of road-protecting plow shoes. Plowing in an attempt to consistently hit bare pavement may cause unnecessary wear and damage to road surfaces and to the very expensive equipment and vehicles being utilized in snow removal efforts.
  • There is no real appreciable value in plowing roads unless accumulations exceed approximately 1-inch of snow. LHCC generally begins plowing when accumulations reach this threshold.
  • Solid chemical treatments such as calcium chloride, salt, and magnesium chloride are intended for ice removal and are also beneficial in the removal of packed snow that may remain after plowing has ended. Many of these chemical treatments become largely ineffective when temperatures fall below 15-degrees Fahrenheit. With this mind, LHCC treats areas of packed snow with such chemicals as necessary, once plowing has been completed.
  • Chemicals are neither intended for nor are they effective in the removal of falling snow. Small amounts of snow and ice accumulation do not provide the moisture needed to effectively spread such chemicals out over the road’s surface and, under such conditions, chemicals may prove ineffective. This is compounded by the relatively light traffic on many of LHCC’s roads, as traffic helps to spread such chemicals out on the road’s surface.
  • The application of grit to roadways is best done after snowfall has ended or when accumulations are minimal and additional accumulations are not expected. LHCC utilizes grits #8 – #10 as is appropriate for the Association’s spreader equipment. This size grit will quickly become encapsulated by falling snow and will be of little effect if applied during periods of active snowfall.
  • Though ineffective for extended periods of time during active snowfall, grit does improve traction temporarily during active snow, and is generally applied to intersections and hills as those areas are plowed in order to provide better traction for the plow trucks and for our motorists.

Lake Holiday’s winter weather road maintenance protocols reflect these realities, detail priorities during such storms, and recognize that roads will likely not be clear during an active weather event. The protocol also states that it will be the policy of LHCC to have roadways plowed within 18 hours of the end of a snowfall (when plowing is appropriate), and that a bare road policy is not always possible during times of winter weather.  It’s of paramount importance that drivers exercise extreme caution when driving our roadways during and immediately following these inclement weather events.

You may read these protocols in PDF form at the following link: LHCC Snow Removal Protocols.

In summation, during winter weather events all actions taken are consistent both with the LHCC published protocols and with Virginia Department of Transportation guidance for State secondary roads. Despite this, we understand that there will always be people who are not completely satisfied with the outcomes of our efforts. However, at no time will safety be compromised for the sake of saving money. We have excellent equipment. We have an outstanding and experienced crew who are very dedicated to getting our roadways cleared for our residents during these storm events. Management and staff are very responsive to the feedback from the community if areas need further attention. You may reach us via email and phone, details are on our linked LAKE HOLIDAY CONTACT US PAGE.

We hope this information answers many questions we often receive, proves useful to you, and we wish you safe travels.

Respectfully Submitted,
Lake Holiday Board of Directors
Mike Goodwin, LHCC General Manager

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