Snow and Ice
While significant snowfall is uncommon in Albany, even small amounts of snow (and ice) can cause problems getting around town.
The City of Albany does not own snow removal equipment. Instead we work with our agency partners to maintain passable roads during snow events in a safe and cost-effective manner. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) assists in keeping the highways and bridges clear on I-5, US Hwy. 20, and Oregon Hwy. 99E.
On the 350 lane miles* of Albany streets, the Linn County Road Department and Benton County Public Works Department help plow priority routes. City street maintenance crews are on duty (sometimes around the clock) sanding at major intersections, depending on the event. Sanding helps break up packed snow and keep major travel routes passable.
Stay in the know
Depending on the severity and length of a snow or ice event, the City of Albany will use a variety of means to communicate, providing information and/or phone numbers for street/road conditions around the area and state. This will be accomplished through one or more of the following methods:
What you can do
Albany community members are asked to support the efforts of our partners' snow and ice control operations. You are requested to remove any parked vehicles, boats, and trailers from city streets, especially on key routes. This will allow snowplows to clear the streets quickly and with fewer passes. Keeping vehicles off streets will also improve accessibility and minimize the risk of damage to private property from vehicles losing control on slick surfaces.
The City or its agency partners will not be responsible for damage or blockage of vehicles parked on the street, including vehicles that are isolated by snow piles during plowing operations. All garbage and debris recycling containers set out for collection should be kept behind the curb or in residential driveways at all times. Public Works is not responsible for damage to privately-owned landscaping or structures, including but not limited to fences, signs, curbs, and wires that are installed within the public right-of-way.
Snow removal by property owners or occupants should not be stacked or stockpiled over catch basins or the ends of culverts. Rapid warming or thawing could overload drainage facilities, causing local flooding and/or possible property damage. City staff will clear blocked catch basins and culverts as storm response circumstances allow.
The City does not guarantee that streets will be free of snow and ice after plowing and/or sanding. Ultimately, it is each resident’s responsibility to ensure that they can travel to and from their homes if necessary during winter events. Bare, dry pavement should not be expected and residents are asked to do the following:
- Drive only when necessary and plan for delays. More vehicles cause more congestion, delays, and unnecessary accidents.
- Be patient and courteous to other drivers. Slow down when traveling in hazardous conditions. Most accidents occur because the driver is going too fast for the weather conditions.
- Carry traction devices. Drivers should ensure their vehicles have appropriate traction devices for the existing conditions and for the type of vehicle being used. Traction devices should be installed prior to driving during snow/ice events.
- Consider using public transportation. Albany Transit System and Linn-Benton Loop buses may operate during inclement weather and can maneuver through snow and ice more easily than most lightweight personal vehicles. Be aware that it is likely that buses will experience delays, depending on specific road conditions.
- To obtain additional travel tips and information, visit ODOT's winter driving page.
*One mile of street with curbs and gutters on both sides equals two lane miles.
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