Cold Weather Street Maintenance

Contact Information
Street Maintenance
Renton, WA 98056

Winter Preparations

  • Cold weather updates

Go behind the scenes as the city's street maintenance crews prepare for winter weather.



Before snowfall lands on cold streets, city crews stand ready to apply anti-icer to prevent snow from sticking, making it easier to plow.

Priority Routes

Priority routes are arterials, secondary arterials and collectors, bridges, schools, hospitals and fire stations and are first to be pre-treated with anti-icer to help keep ice and snow from bonding to the pavement, allowing quicker snow removal through plowing. Trucks are assigned to a specific location in the city and follow a priority mapping system for that area.

High Volume Areas

Streets that receive a high volume of traffic such as NE 4th, Sunset, Benson, Talbot, Carr Road, school routes and the main access roads to Renton Hill and West Hill are first priority for anti-icer pre-treating plowing and sanding. During peak commute hours, these streets receive the most attention because sand dissipates quickly on well-traveled roads. Secondary arterials such as Union and Duvall are plowed and sanded next and the residential areas receive attention when the primary and secondary routes are completed. During severe weather conditions, high priority areas are sanded approximately four times during a 24-hour period.


The emergency entrances to Valley Medical Center and Group Health are maintained by city crews and are a first priority during snowfall. Crews carefully document each street after it has been plowed and sanded, recording the date, time and condition. These vehicles are also equipped with GPS tracking.

Problem Areas

Problem areas that are called in by police, citizens, or other city departments are handled by priority and truck availability.

Impacts on Collections

Road conditions may also impact garbage, recycling and yard waste collection routes in Renton. Hauler trucks are heavy and the City and contractors are concerned with public safety. Find out more information about winter weather impacts on garbage, recycling, and yard waste collection service.

Be Cautious

City crews do an excellent job of keeping the streets of Renton sanded for residents. Many accidents are caused by excessive speed for the road conditions. It is important for citizens to be cautious at all times, as road conditions can change quickly and drivers must beware.

In extreme conditions, you are advised to travel only in a situation that is urgent or an emergency. If you see a city snow plow or de-icer truck, please stay back and clear.

We are Renton Ready

The City of Renton has 330 center line miles and 825 lane miles of streets and right of ways (2017). The Street Maintenance Division is responsible for sweeping and cleaning the city streets and right-of-ways, along with overseeing the street overlay projects and snow and ice winter operations.

We are Renton Ready

The city has nine sanders, 11 trucks with plows, three anti-icer applicator trucks. All sanders and plows are loaded and tested annually in September/October, any issues or repairs have been completed by the operators and our fleet maintenance mechanics.

The anti-icing applicator trucks, which carry 1,600 gallons and a plow have been loaded, tested, and calibrated.

The city has 9,000 gallons of liquid anti-icer, Freezgard CI Plus (Magnesium Chloride with corrosion inhibitor) storage tanks. The city's vendor is ready if more is needed during a storm event.

Approximately 250 ton of road salt is on hand and over 1,000 ton of sand. The city uses a sand/salt mix of 25% salt.

The division has 15 street maintenance workers plus one night sweeper operator and two solid waste workers. Formal training sessions are held annually and cover operations and anti-icing applications.

All drivers study their route map books and drive their respective routes so that they are familiar with what they look like without snow. Renton's streets look completely different when covered in snow. This route pre-check helps prevent plow and truck damage when the snow fight begins. The city is divided into five regions and trucks are distributed as evenly as possible, based on hills, major arterials, priority locations, and routes.

Priority snow routes are arterials, secondary arterials and collectors, bridges, schools, hospitals and fire stations.

Many of these major routes have been pre-treated with anti-icer as soon as the city knows an event is on its way. This helps keep ice and snow from bonding to the pavement and allows quicker snow removal through plowing.

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