With winter and snowy conditions fast approaching, the Novi Department of Public Works is preparing to keep the city’s roads and sidewalks safe for residents.

With winter and snowy conditions fast approaching, the Novi Department of Public Works is preparing to keep the city’s roads and sidewalks safe for residents.

Photo by Brian Wells

As Novi prepares for winter, police share tips on safe driving

By: Brian Wells | Novi Note | Published December 11, 2021


NOVI — With winter and snowy conditions fast approaching, the city of Novi’s Department of Public Works is preparing to keep the city’s roads and sidewalks safe for residents.

Every fall, around the end of October, the city conducts a meeting to discuss and review operational procedures and expectations and to review routes to optimize service and update maps, Jeff Herczeg, the city’s director of public works, said in an email.

The city’s DPW provides snow and ice removal services on city-owned property and all public roads in the city except those maintained by the Road Commission for Oakland County and the Michigan Department of Transportation. These include Haggerty Road, Eight Mile Road, Napier Road, Pontiac Trail, 14 Mile Road, Interstate 96, Interstate 696, Interstate 275 and M-5.

The city has 15 snowplow trucks in its fleet, which are deployed as needed during a winter event. The trucks are calibrated and prepared prior to the meeting at the start of the season, and a test run is performed, Herczeg said.

Before snow falls, the city will often apply an anti-icing solution to the roadways. The city’s supply of road salt is treated with a brine solution that activates it sooner, allowing it to stick to the roadway and become more effective.

In the 2020-21 winter season, crews applied nearly 79,000 gallons of liquid to the road and used 4,591 tons of salt, the city said in a press release. Novi has a contract with the Detroit Salt Co. and is guaranteed 5,000 tons of material, Herczeg said.

When snow falls, the department prioritizes major roads, neighborhood entrances and exits, and municipal parking lots. Once those are cleared, it will move to residential streets, followed by nonmotorized routes abutting city-owned property.

The city saw its first accumulation of snow the weekend of Nov. 28. DPW managers were alerted to poor road conditions by the city’s public safety team, Herczeg said. Operators were then dispatched and assigned routes. Major roads were plowed and salted before being plowed again to minimize overall accumulation on road surfaces. They were then plowed and salted again before heavy morning traffic, which cleaned up the remaining snow and ice.

The city’s ordinance requires residents and business owners to clear all ice and snow from sidewalks within 48 hours of a snowstorm with an accumulation greater than 2 inches.


How to stay safe on the roads
In a press release, the Novi Police Department shared several tips to keep drivers safe this winter.

Drivers are encouraged to stay home and only go out if absolutely necessary, the release states. If you do decide to brave the roads, plan your route before you leave. Sometimes surface roads are less hazardous than the freeways.

Keep an ice scraper and brush in your vehicle and clear all snow before leaving. Snow and ice from your vehicle can create hazards for other drivers, the release states.

Leave yourself with plenty of time to complete your trip, as hazardous conditions will add time to your commute. Drive slowly and make sure you allow yourself plenty of stopping distance.

In the event that you are in a crash or slide off the road, stay in your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights and call for help. Drivers are safest in their vehicles, the release states.

Make sure windshield wipers are in good condition and you have plenty of windshield washer fluid. In addition, keep your gas tank full, as it will be less likely to freeze, and the extra weight is good for traction.

It is also important to prepare an emergency kit with things such as a flashlight, blanket, water, snacks and hand warmers.

Novi residents can also sign up for NIXLE alerts, which will send text messages to their phones alerting them of any hazards or road closures, by visiting www.nixle.com.

Contact Brian Wells at (586) 498-1081, (248) 291-7637 or bwells@candgnews.com.