Snow removal is a critical service provided by JBER and Aurora Military Housing during the winter months.
Roadway Snow Removal Process
The snow removal process may vary depending on weather conditions or other factors, however, generally we expect the process outlined below to apply.
1) Snow Event Determination
AMH utilizes weather reports and actual measurements to determine whether snow removal is necessary. Once snowfall reaches 2″, a “Snow Event” is called, which initiates the snow removal process with our contractors.
2) Impact Assessment
AMH determines the hardest hit areas and determines which snow removal plan is required. Our grounds maintenance team and representatives from our contract teams will perform site assessments as mobilization is occurring. At this point, a start location is determined.
Start location: Generally, the contractor will start on one side of the base and work their way to the other. Based on accumulation levels, forecasting, and other factors (such as whether it is trash or recycling day) a determination is made to start on JBER-E or JBER-R.
Start time: Our contractors are required to respond within 2 hours of a snow event being called. Some caveats exist, such as when event is called at the end of the day; unless the snowfall is deemed an emergency, the response must occur outside of quiet hours, so generally removal will start the following morning. There are no restrictions in the contract for weekends or holidays, so removal will occur on those days as necessary.
Resident Communications: At this point, we’ll post on our blog, Facebook, and schedule an email to send out to all email list recipients. Generally, this is a plea for your assistance in removing vehicles from the roads; it really does speed up the process.
3) Snow Removal Occurs
Our contractor uses a variety of different types of equipment. Loaders and plows are used to push snow into piles or wind rows. Blowers are used to pick up snow and haulers are used to transport snow to dedicated snow dumps. Additionally, graders, ice breakers, and other such equipment may be used to further remove accumulation.
You can expect in most scenarios, snow removal will occur in primarily two passes. The time between each of these passes can vary drastically based on the amount of snowfall; in high-accumulation scenarios, wind rows will be present for longer periods than in a 2-4″ snow event.
First Pass: Plows first open up roads. In certain areas, temporary wind rows and berms are created in this process.
Do not attempt to drive through berms or wind rows. The initial pass through is intended to allow one-way traffic on each street, please drive next to the berms and wind rows until you reach an intersection or designated pass-through point; here you can make a U-turn to position yourself on the other side of the street. This will be the fastest way to navigate through housing.
Second Pass: The blower and trucks follow behind plows and remove snow from road; depending on the neighborhood, snow is either hauled to designated snow dump locations or blown into yards and common areas. Generally, secondary equipment is utilized at this point to remove snow from mailboxes, hydrants, and sidewalks.
Traction Control: Traction aid is applied (depending on road conditions) at this time.
- Vacant Unit and Deployed Spouse Program snow removal should be completed within 24 hours of a Snow Event being called; there are now dedicated teams responsible for these tasks.
- In some cases, a third pass may occur to clean up certain areas or complete lower priority tasks.
- The expectation is that roads are fully opened within 48 hours of snowfall, with only minor cleanup occurring after the fact, however this is entirely dependent on weather conditions.
- If new snowfall occurs that exceeds 2″, this is considered a new snow event.
- Announcements will not be made when contractors are performing clean up or maintenance tasks, unless your assistance is required (i.e. removing vehicles from the road). Some of these tasks may include hauling snow in common areas or at corners, grading or breaking up ice, applying traction aid, etc.
- Reporting safety concerns or issues with snow removal (such as when there is a notable variance between the outlined process above) is highly valued. To best enable us to work with you and our contract team, please provide details on our comment form. We have a dedicated Quality Assurance team that remains in constant contact with our contractors and proactively inspects and assesses work quality.
- Unlike in warmer climates, where the effects of snowfall are more temporary due to higher road temperatures you should expect that, in Alaska, residential roads in the winter will have some accumulation on them at all times; it is not feasible or possible to scrape down to the pavement.
- However, excessive ice buildup can often occur outside of snowfall (from daily melt/freeze of snow, idling vehicles, etc) and is addressed as needed through the application of traction aid or the use of an ice breaker.