Year-Round Street Maintenance

Summer Maintenance

Potholes are caused by the freeze-thaw cycle that generally runs from mid-February to sometime in April. During the warm part of the day, the road surface thaws and run-off collects in the cracks in the pavement. When the temperature falls below freezing again, the ground and water re-freezes and naturally expands, which breaks up the pavement. Then traffic pops out these broken sections of pavement, creating potholes.

During pothole season, City maintenance crews repair these nuisances daily. Priority is given to the more heavily traveled roads, but all holes are repaired as detected. Unfortunately, with the cold patch materials used for repair and with the thawing and re-freezing conditions, a pothole can be repaired one day and need to be repaired again in a day or two.

If you notice a dangerously large or deep pothole, please contact the City Street Maintenance Department at 763-593-8030 or fill out our Dangerous Pothole Reporting Form so it can be taken care of as soon as possible.

Winter Maintenance

In Golden Valley, the City begins plowing after snow accumulates to 2 inches or more. When snowfall continues for long periods, crews plow main arterial routes and "through" streets that connect neighborhoods to State and County roads to keep these roads passable until all City streets can be plowed. If strong winds and drifting cause unsafe conditions for snowplow drivers, plowing stops until conditions improve. However, efforts are made to continue plowing during rush hour to help people get home safely.

Golden Valley also plows sidewalks. Depending on weather conditions, this usually starts about four hours after the streets. Follow-up passes are made as needed.

Snow Removal From Private Property

Removal of snow and ice from private property to a roadway, across a roadway, or onto a sidewalk or adjacent property is prohibited by City ordinance and State statute. When snow is being removed from your driveway or parking lot (whether you do it or hire someone to do it), make sure it stays off of roadways, sidewalks, and adjacent property. Improper snow removal can result in many complications, some of which can be very dangerous. If you or your plowing contractor have questions regarding this issue, contact the Public Works Maintenance Manager at 763-593-3981. To report an ordinance violation, contact the Property Maintenance Inspector at 763-593-8074.

Parking on Public Streets

To prevent obstructions during ongoing ice control operations, parking is prohibited on public streets and alleys November 1 to March 31 from 2 to 6 am daily. Vehicles may be parked on private property in parking lots and driveways. To request a temporary exemption, fill out the Winter Parking Waiver Form. All waivers are temporary and void during snowfalls of 2 inches or more until snow has stopped falling and the streets are cleared curb to curb.

Parking is prohibited on any public street after a snowfall of at least 2 inches until the snow has been plowed to the curb line. Keep in mind that the Minneapolis snow emergency announcements on TV and radio do not apply to Golden Valley.

After a snowfall of at least 2 inches, supervisors from the Public Works and Police Departments confer and determine when enforcement will commence. Vehicles in violation are cited by patrolling police, and those still in violation after 24 hours may be towed. After 2 inches of snowfall, vehicles parked in locations that create an extreme hazard may be towed immediately by the police or at the request of State, County, or City street maintenance personnel.

Each winter, stay informed of the weather forecasts and move your vehicle from the streets whenever snow is in the forecast.

Plow Damage

Mailbox Distance DiagramSometimes property damage occurs when snowplows are operating. The City doesn't assume liability for damages to obstacles in the road right-of-way (irrigation heads, landscaping, etc). If possible, remove these obstacles from the right-of-way or mark them clearly to aid plow drivers. Mailboxes, which are generally an obstruction in City's right-of-way, are repaired or replaced only if the plow makes direct contact (sometimes snow from the plow can dislodge the box from the post or bend a weak post). Make sure your mailbox post is solid and securely fastened to the box.

The City will conduct a review of each mailbox incident to determine whether a snow plow came into direct contact with the mailbox or support structure. The City will only repair mailboxes actually hit by a snowplow and installed to United States Postal Service Residential Mailbox Standards (see drawing). The City will not be responsible for damage to mailboxes or support posts caused by snow or ice coming into contact with the mailbox.

Based on the City's review, the City will repair the mailbox to an operational state, or if the mailbox is unable to be adequately repaired, the City will replace the mailbox with a standard size, non-decorative metal mailbox. If necessary, the City may also replace the support post with a 4-inch by 4-inch decay resistant wood support post. Dents, scratches, or other superficial damage that does not prohibit normal use of the mailbox will be considered normal wear and tear and will not be repaired or replaced by the City.

Often, plow drivers literally "feel" their way along streets because of conditions, and regrettably, lawns are cut up. If this happens to you, please report it to Street Maintenance at 763-593-8030. Damages are repaired each spring with black dirt and seed or sod.

Don't Crowd the Plow!

We all share in the responsibility of keeping our roads safe. That's why it is very important for residents, especially children, to know what they can do to help snowplow operators:

  • Plows travel slower than other vehicles. Reduce your speed.
  • Never drive into a snow cloud.
  • Don't pass snowplow vehicles while they're plowing.
  • Keep your distance from trucks spreading granular materials.
  • Stay away from the end of a driveway when a snowplow is approaching.
  • Keep sleds and toys away from the street when they're not being used.
  • Don't build snow forts in the snow piles on the boulevard.
  • Stay out from behind snow removal equipment. Frequent backing is necessary during plowing, and visibility to the rear is very limited.
  • Keep garbage and recycling cans up in the driveway if it snows on garbage collection day.