Snow and Ice Removal
During the winter months, Grounds Services has responsibility for snow and ice removal services. We continuously monitor weather forecasts of hazardous weather conditions from various services; however, freezing rain and other dangerous conditions are usually difficult to predict and experience has shown that a perfectly safe situation can turn treacherous in a matter of a few minutes. We are entirely committed to making the University's sidwalks, stairs and roadways as safe as possible during and after winter storms. To the maximum extent possible, we will attempt to anticipate problems and take necessary precautions.
If you are interested in assisting with our efforts, we do have Student Snow Removal Assistant jobs available. If you cannot make it to one of the information session listed in the previous link, send us an email and you will be provided with instructions on how to apply for a job.
Please read our list of Snow & Ice Safety Tips.
Click the following link for information on MSU Inclement Weather Notifications.
If you encounter a problem area on campus that you believe requires our attention, we encourage you to report the problem to the Facilities Service Desk at 973-655-5444 or via email at email@example.com. The Service Desk will contact the appropriate supervisor to address the issue. Emergencies after hours or on weekends should be directed to University Police at 973-655-5222.
Each year, our snow/ice procedures are updated to reflect any changes in the University's layout (new construction, parking lot closures, etc.) and our staff members participate in a variety of of training sessions related to snow/ice removal (snow blower operation, shoveling techniques, proper ice melt application, etc.). This ensures the best possible service to the campus community during the snow/ice season. Currently we have approximately 8.6 miles of sidewalks*, 6.1 miles of roads* and 20 staircases.
We provide the following specific services:
Pretreatment priority zones are as follows (in priority order and is dependent on availability and affordability of deicing material):
- Priority 1
- Red Hawk Deck 5th Floor Bridge
- Steps leading from Parking Lot 30 to Dickson Hall
- Steps leading from Lot 24A to Blanton Hall
- Ramp leading from Parking Lot 17 to Student Center
- Walkway from Parking Lot 7 to College Avenue
- Priority 2
- Handicap ramp at Student Center
- Steps leading from Lot 28 South to Clove Road.
Note: If liquid de-icing material is unavailable, the Priority 1 and Priority 2 areas will be pre-treated with calcium chloride pellets.
Sidewalks and Walkways (in priority order)
Snow removal efforts will commence for sidewalks and walkways when the snow reaches a depth of one-half inch. All walkways and sidewalks will be salted except in areas that require Calcium Chloride. For heavier snows, walkways and sidewalks will be plowed then salted.
Shovel Crew Equipment used: shovels, manual push salt spreaders, walk behind snow blowers
- University Police walkways
- Walkway from Red Hawk Deck to Dickson
- Walkway from Dickson to University Hall (west of Dickson Hall)
- Walkway from NJT Deck to Lot 40
- Clove Road apartment sidewalks
- Village at Little Falls sidewalks
- All shuttle bus stops
- Curbs at Crosswalks on Normal Avenue
- All interior campus walkways (Plow crews do most of this work; shovel crews “clean up” remaining areas)
- Ramps, cut curbs and adjacent surfaces
- 8th level of the Red Hawk Deck
Primary entrances to all facilities and all steps
Snow removal efforts will commence for building entrances and steps when snow reaches a depth of one-half inch. All entrances and steps will have Calcium Chloride applied. For heavier snows, entrances and steps will be shoveled then treated. (This list is not in priority order, as there are typicaly numerous teams working at multiple buildings simultaneously.)
- University Police
- Blanton Hall
- Freeman Hall and steps to Annex
- Russ Hall
- Bohn Hall and steps
- Stone Hall
- Webster Hall
- Clove Road Apartments and steps
- Village and steps to lower parking areas
- University Hall
- College Hall
- Student Center and front and rear steps (all zones)
- Children’s Center @ MSU
- Stairs leading from the CarParc Diem Deck to University Hall
- All other building primary entrances
- All campus steps
- Secondary building entrances
- Fire Hydrants
NOTE: Steps at South College Hall and the ramp entrance to the Alexander Kasser Theater have ice melting coils; shoveling and calcium chloride treatments are therefore not required.
Plowing operations on the campus are broken down into the following two zones: (1) Truck Plowing Zones (2) Tractor Plowing Zones
Snow removal efforts will commence when snow covers the road surface; rock salt will be applied. For heavier snowfalls, all roadways will be plowed then salted. At no time should snow accumulate to a depth of more than 3”.
Our Snow Removal Fleet
A concerted effort has been made to enhance the aging snow & ice removal fleet. Our efforts have been quite successful and the following constitutes the current vehicles, equipment and structures:
- Dump trucks with 3 yard salters and 8 foot plows for roadways and parking lots (4)
- Pick-up trucks with 2 yard salters and plows large walkway and small parking lots (2)
- 28 hp tractors with plows and brushes for sidewalks (5)
- Small utility vehicles with plows and salters for sidewalks (4)
- Back-hoe with a 10 foot pusher box for the large lots (1)
- Walk-behind snow blowers (14)
- On-campus salt bin
If there is substantial accumulation on rooftops after a snow/ice event, and those rooftops are historically known for falling snow/ice, barricades will be strategically placed near entrances to keep pedestrians at a safe distance. Signs will be placed on these barricades warning “Falling Snow/Ice. Please use alternate Entrance/Exit.” The following areas are monitored:
- College Hall – East and West Entrances
- Morehead Hall – All entrances
- Village at Little Falls – Williams & Fenwick
- Panzer Gym – Southern portion of Parking Lot 3
If you would like to alert us to an area where you believe barricades should be placed, please contact the Facilities Service Desk at 973-655-5444 or firstname.lastname@example.org
* A road is defined as an asphalt or similar surface primarily dedicated to vehicular traffic. Only roads and sidewalks within MSU boundaries are considered.
* A sidewalk is defined as a concrete, brick, or other similar surface primarily dedicated to pedestrian traffic. Large paved pedestrian areas, such as the SC quad, are not considered unless there is an obvious connection between two sidewalks.
Modifications to Walkways During Winter Storms
Please note that the following is a list of the areas where walking modifications may be made during winter storms. If necessary , the areas indicated located will be barricaded until the snow stops and major areas are cleared. In most cases, a small area will be cleared to allow access or alternate route utilized. This will enable University personnel to concentrate efforts on major areas of the campus and maintain ample safe walkways for students and staff:
- Stairway from CarParc Diem to Blanton Hall (the old stairway).
- East and west side stairs in the front of the Student Center.
- Two sets of steps on the east side of Partridge Hall leading to the Student Center Quad.
- Most sections of the steps on the east side of Kasser Theater.
- Half of the steps between the southeast side Kasser Theater and College Hall.
- The two set of steps that lead from College Hall to the Freeman/Russ/Cali Quad.
- The large set of steps that lead from Lot 7 to Panzer Athletic Center (northeast corner).
- The large set of steps on the west side of the Cali School of Music.
- Most of the steps in front of Cafe Diem.
- Steps leading from campus to the Newman Center.
- The steps leading from Lot 30 to the areas surrounding the new School of Business.
- The walkways from Dickson/University Hall to the stairs that connect to Lot 30 on Carlisle Road will also be closed during winter storms and will be open only when they can be made safe. The suggested alternate walking route to connect Lot 30 to Dickson and University Halls is via Yogi Berra Road to the new stairway that connects CarParc Diem to the campus core. (DO NOT use Webster Road as a walking path from Lot 30 to University and Dickson Halls -- there are no sidewalks along this road, which is confined to buses and construction vehicles exclusively.