How Wichita is managing snow and ice removal on streets in below-freezing temperatures

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The City of Wichita Public Works & Utilities Department has been working around the clock since Saturday to treat various rounds of winter precipitation. The city has 60 trucks working to clear the roads

Ben Nelson, interim assistant director for Wichita Public Works & Utilities, said the city is taking a different approach to keep the roads safe for driving. He said temperatures may not get above freezing for the next week which has them changing treatments.

“Normal road salt, the sodium chloride mix becomes less effective as temperatures drop down to 15 degrees and 10 degrees. So we supplement that with calcium chloride salt. The calcium chloride has a lower melting temperature so it is more effective at these lower temperatures,” said Nelson.

Nelson said they doubling the rate of calcium chloride and applications on the road.

“It should help the ability to melt,” Nelson said. “Sometimes we count on sunlight being able to help us melt any residual winter precipitation, but it is forecasted to be overcast or mostly cloudy through the duration of the next week.”

The Kansas Department of Transportation is responsible for Wichita area highways while city crews are responsible for clearing 1,500 arterial lane miles and 300 secondary and school routes. Residential roads are not plowed.

“When we don’t have to put plows down, we can get through the entire street network in eight to 10 hours,” said Nelson.

As for supplies, the city says they are fully stocked for the duration of weather event.

You can track the streets the city has plowed by clicking here.


For the latest road conditions in Wichita, click here.

For the latest Kansas road conditions, click here.


The Emergency Accident Reporting Plan (EARP) is currently in effect in Wichita. If you are involved in an accident and no one is injured, there is no DUI and the vehicles can be driven, you can make a report at a QT or online.

Also, the Salina Police Department said the EARP plan has been implemented due to severe weather and/or hazardous driving conditions as the number of motor vehicle accidents exceeds the department’s ability to respond in a timely manner.

Emergency Accident Reporting Plan forms are available at the Salina Police Department, they are also on-line at

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