Snow Removal

General Information

Howard County is responsible for snow removal from approximately 3,650 roads, encompassing about 1,074 centerline miles of roadway, approximately 2,368 cul-de-sacs and approximately 518 T-intersections or dead end roads. The County has 87 designated snow removal routes, with each comprised of an average of 15 centerline miles per route. 

At the beginning of the winter season, 32,500 tons of salt, 23,500 gallons of magnesium chloride and 45,000 gallons of brine stands ready to be dispersed by a fleet of more than 135 pieces of snow removal equipment equipped with automated vehicle-locating devices (plus an additional 60 pieces of contractor equipment), allowing the Bureau to see which Howard County roads have been serviced and how. You can track the progress of our snow removal equipment via the County's Snow Plower Tracker. The tracker allows residents to monitor progress across four different time frames while snow removal is underway. Residents are able to see if their street has been treated in the last four hours, between four and eight hours ago, between eight and 12 hours ago, or more than 12 hours ago. The tracker also aggregates highway traffic camera views, weather alerts and real-time traffic information into the display, providing residents with a one-stop shop for storm recovery information.

In addition, for general information concerning the Bureau's maintenance efforts during a winter weather event, contact the Citizen Information Hotline at 410-313-2900, email ask@howardcountymd.gov and/or follow the Howard County Government Facebook page or Twitter handle.

When ice and/or snow endanger the safety of the traveling public, many factors are considered as County workers decide how to best manage the various winter driving conditions. Variables included in these decisions are the amount of snowfall, the duration and intensity of the storm, the meteorological parameters of temperature, humidity and wind force, and the availability of material, manpower, and equipment. Through careful analysis and by interfacing these factors, the men and women of the Bureau of Highways provide the maximum level of service possible to the residents of Howard County.

The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is responsible for all the work and maintenance on interstate highways and on roads that have a route number (such as US 40, US 29, MD 32, MD 175, etc.). For an intersection that includes a state and county road, the state takes precedence and has jurisdiction. In Howard County, the SHA can be contacted at the Dayton office at 410-531-5533, or 1-800-635-5119, or online at www.roads.maryland.gov

Operational Procedures