Snow Removal Priorities on County Maintained Roads

County Snow Removal near Tioga Pass


Currently the Department of Public Works Road Operations are responsible for 679.26 miles of county roadway, not including private roads or drives. The County's land area has been divided into five "road areas " which employ 3 or more employees each.  These employees maintain county roads by doing minor repairs and snow removal during the winter months. When a county road needs extensive repairs or when class 4 roads receive enough snow accumulation, those roads will be listed on the County's Road Closure web page.  Residents of the Town of Mammoth Lakes should contact the town for status on snow removal for the roads within the town limits.

Plowing begins when it appears that snowfall amounts are accumulating enough to create dangerous conditions, with three inches or more of accumulation usually triggering snow removal. Each maintained road has been assigned a snow removal priority from "Class 1" to "Class 5" roads. Class 1 roads being the highest priority. The current classification system was established back in 2004 by Resolution R04-069. Minor changes and additions to total road mileages and classifications of certain roads have occurred since then. The following are descriptions of these snow removal priority policies.

Class 1 Roads - Paved roads that are school bus routes and major collector roads, which provide the main access for communities to the State Highway System, and County roads that access fire stations, paramedics, and Mono County Sheriff offices.  These roads will generally receive snow removal resources first and more frequently than subordinate road classifications, and it is Public Works' goal to keep them open continuously. While roads in this classification may close temporarily for public safety reasons, they will typically be the first to be re-opened.
Class 2 Roads - Paved roads that are minor collector roads, which serve communities and government offices, but carry less traffic than Class 1 roads and are not part of school bus routes. These are the second priority to receive snow removal resources.
Class 3 Roads - Residential streets, cul-de-sacs and other paved and gravel roads within communities. As the third priority designation, these roads generally receive snow removal as soon as all of the Class 1 and Class 2 roads have been opened and cleared. Snow accumulations of less than three inches may not be plowed except during normal working hours.
Class 4 Roads - Are other Forest roads, remote roads to single residences, or high mountain roads with severe snow accumulation and avalanche potential. These roads only get plowed after all of the above classes of roads are plowed, and only after the storm has passed. Snow will be removed during daylight hours only (if at all). These roads are subject to temporary closure or seasonal closure at the discretion of the Director of Road Operations or the Public Works Director, which may be the result of a series of heavy storms or presence of an avalanche hazard. Snow accumulations of six inches or less may not be plowed except during normal working hours.
Class 5 Roads - Primarily Forest roads that are closed for the winter. These roads receive no snow removal resources or are opened in the spring after a substantial amount of snowpack has melted.