As the first real snow blankets the Treasure Valley this week, local Facebook groups are filling up with complaints about slippery roads, bad drivers, chaotic traffic, and the processes for taking care of the roads after it snows. Where do Treasure Valley snow plows go first?

The Ada County Highway District (ACHD) shared crucial information on the priorities and strategies guiding snow plow operations in the area, and they are urging residents to stay informed to ensure awareness and road safety. Check out the priority roads and details below.

What Does the ACHD Use?

ACHD employs a combination of magnesium chloride, salt, sand, and plowing to combat winter storms, both in anti-icing efforts before the storm and de-icing during and after the event. The key to their approach lies in a prioritized system that determines which roads get attention first. While recognizing the importance of residential streets, ACHD prioritizes main roads due to higher traffic volume and safety concerns.

What Are the Priority Roads?


• Arterial and collector roads
• Major intersections
• Overpasses and bridges
• Hospitals and fire stations
• School and railroad crossings
• Streets with grades (steepness) over six percent

However, the ACHD alone cannot guarantee complete road safety. After winter weather events, it's the responsibility of property and business owners to keep adjacent areas and sidewalks clear, and residents are encouraged not to push snow into the street, as it can block paths, storm drains, and potentially create hazards for others.

15 Idaho Inspired Names That Ada County Highway District Should Use For Their Snowplows

There are 44 nameless snowplows that make up ACHD's fleet! We asked you for some ideas on what they could be named! These were our 15 favorite suggestions.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

13 Amazing Ice-Skating Adventures in Idaho Worth Trying

Gallery Credit: Parker Kane

10 Great Indoor Snowday Kid Friendly Acitivities

What to do when the kids are off school

Gallery Credit: Kevin Mille

Got Those Winter Blues? 17 Ways to Ease Seasonal Depression

Winter can be a particularly difficult time in Idaho, especially with everything else going on in the world right now. Luckily, there are proven ways to combat seasonal depression.

Gallery Credit: Stephanie Gull

5 Winter Laws, Rules and Etiquette That Everyone in Boise Needs to Know

When the temperatures drop and snow starts to fall, these are things that everyone living in Boise should know.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

More From Idaho’s Talk Station