By John Sutherland, 10th Civil Engineering Squadron
/ Published October 16, 2017
Last year, more than 58 inches of snow fell on the Air Force Academy. We all need to be ready for winter as the Front Range weather can change quickly.
The most important element of safe winter driving is adjusting our driving habits to match the weather and road conditions. The No. 1 safety tip is to reduce your speed by at least 10 mph when road conditions are hazardous or your visibility limited.
Snow route signs are installed throughout the base, indicating the main thoroughfares or “snow routes.” These routes won’t change except for a major construction project. In this case, snow route changes are announced via email and on the Academy’s social media platforms.
The snow route map shows the snow routes and snow gate locations on secondary roads. “Red” roads, for emergency access, are the primary snow routes and are open 24 hours-a day. “Blue” roads are the secondary routes. Overnight, these roads don’t receive the same attention as emergency access roads.
For safety reasons, snow gates at the entrance of secondary roads are not to be accessed when closed. Stay on the snow routes during and immediately after a snow event.
Delayed reporting or a base-closure is announced via radio and TV, so check your local station before heading to work.
If we have significant snowfall, the Academy will inform you of reporting times through the media. Late reporting, early release or a base closure, is designed for everyone’s safety. Automated closure or delay information, and road conditions, is available at 333-2800, the “Snow Call line.” Academy residents at other bases may follow reporting times for those installations.
Never assume you’re “mission essential” and report to work as an overabundance of traffic can be dangerous. Snow crews need time to clean-up our roads and sidewalks before we get to work.
Commander’s determine who is “mission essential,” so report as directed as communicate with them if you have safety concerns. The Main Exchange, Commissary and Army and Air Force Exchange Service will open at designated late reporting times. The Child Development Center will open at its normal time to accommodate the children of “mission-essential workers.”
Before inclement weather, snow crews may apply a liquid anti-icing chemical to prevent ice from sticking to the roads and sidewalks. The liquid may produce a temporary slippery effect. Before the morning rush hour, a granular chemical deicer is applied on hills, curves, stopping points and intersections.