Street Maintenance


Maintenance / Repair Operations

  • Street and Alley repairs, including potholes, cave ins and heaved streets.
  • Provide gravel and grading services for unpaved city alleys (seasonal). 
    (May to November, weather permitting)
  • Alleviate unsafe sidewalk conditions by making temporary repairs with patching materials.
  • Provide periodic cleaning and grass cutting on freeway service drives and freeway entrance / exit ramps.

Snow & Ice Removal

During a snow event, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will provide the necessary level of service to restore near normal road surface conditions. The level and type of service will be dependent upon the amount of snow or ice, weather conditions, and time of day. The Department will continuously have trucks on the road, until the road conditions on all major thoroughfares are at acceptable levels. There is no minimum amount of snow accumulation that prompts DPW snow removal activities. If there is any potential for road surfaces to become slippery, then snow & ice control procedures are implemented.

The City of Detroit has a system to alert and prepare residents for disruptive winter weather. There are three levels of weather 

Level 1
3 inches or less of snow and/or freezing rain

Under Level 1, conditions significantly affect ability to travel, and the snow will can remain and accumulate if freezing temperatures continue. Under Level 1, the Department of Public Works will salt only on major thoroughfares.

Level 2
3 to 6 inches of snow and/or freezing rain

Level 2 conditions include heavier snow fall that requires more extensive use of vehicles for salting and plowing. In this case, salting will take place only on major thoroughfares.

Level 3
6 inches or more of snow and/or freezing rain

Under Level 3
There are extreme winter conditions.
The Mayor may declare a snow emergency.
Below freezing temperatures can create health risks.
Trash collection may be affected.
Contractor may plow residential streets.

Snow & ice removal is accomplished through de-icing (applying road salt after snow has begun) and anti-icing (applying a liquid salt brine or calcium chloride solution before the snow or ice begins). In addition, plowing of roads may be utilized when snow accumulations exceed three inches.

When a storm occurs over multiple days, the Department will adjust employee work schedules to ensure that around-the-clock operations are employed, if needed, to attain acceptable road conditions. DPW has a 7-day, 24-hour operation during the winter season. These employees are the first employees deployed during every snow event. If the necessary, additional employees are called in on an overtime basis so that all available salting/plowing trucks are manned.

The Department also utilizes the services of a private weather forecasting company to assist in making proactive decisions regarding the level of service that will be needed.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is responsible for:

  • Jefferson Avenue from M-10/Griswold to I-375
  • Randolph from the Windsor Tunnel to Gratiot
  • Woodward Avenue from Adams to the City limits
  • Grand River Avenue from Cass Ave to City limits
  • Gratiot from Randolph to Eight Mile
  • Fort Street from Griswold to City limits
  • Clark Street from Fort to Fisher Freeway
  • Van Dyke from Gratiot to Eight Mile Road
  • Gunston from Gratiot to McNichols
  • Hoover from McNichols to Groesbeck
  • Groesbeck from Hoover to Eight Mile Road
  • Michigan Avenue from Cass Avenue to Wyoming

Street Sweeping

The city is divided into eastside and westside sweeping sections. The division sweeps local, major and state trunklines beginning in mid-April of each year. Sweeping crews post "No Parking" signs in areas to be swept 2 days before the scheduled sweeping. To ensure that parked vehicles do not hamper street cleaning efforts on the day of sweeping, the Municipal Parking Authority will ticket all parked vehicles.

The sweeping process starts with water vehicles flushing the areas to control airborne dust particles, and follows with sweeper vehicles collecting street dirt and debris as close to the curb as possible.

Every effort is made to sweep your street on days that do not conflict with your scheduled refuse or bulk collection days.

Tip: The sweepers will not collect leaves intentionally raked to the curb/street.

All yard waste must be placed on the curb at least six feet from your Courville container in biodegradable paper bags or a personal garbage can. DPW will not collect yard waste in plastic bags. Residents who set out yard waste more than 24 hours before their scheduled pickup will be subject to a fine.
Yard waste collection will begin in May and last through the first few weeks of December (weather permitting). Yard waste will be collected on the same day as your scheduled weekly trash collection.

DPW encourages residents to mulch yard clippings and to compost all yard waste, leaves and vegetation matter.