Highway Department announces standing corn row snow fence program
For the Gazette
Submitted by the Portage County Highway Department
PORTAGE COUNTY — There are many ways to influence the wind that carries tons of blowing and drifting snow.
Periodically, severe winter storms will create large snow drifts that close roads and driveways, isolate farmsteads, and increase snowplowing. Many of these drifting problems happen in the same place year after year. Although there are no foolproof methods of wind and snow control, strategically placed standing corn row snow fences can reduce or eliminate drifting problems in many locations.
The Strategic Highway Resource Program has conducted national research on this subject and has found that it costs 100 times more to plow snow than to trap it with a snow fence.
To assist in the Portage County Highway Department’s winter maintenance efforts, the Portage County Highway Committee approved a Standing Corn Row Snow Fence Program for the County in 2017. This program involves a public/private partnership in which the County reimburses property owners or lessees for corn left standing to act as a snow fence. Similar programs have been implemented by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and surrounding counties which include Adams and Marathon Counties.
“The ultimate goal of the program is to use this best practice as a way to decrease time and money spent on our typical snow fence installation while providing a better level of service for the traveling public,” states Highway Commissioner Nathan Check. “In our first year in 2017, we had one participant on the northern end of the County which performed very well. We would love to grow the program with any interested property owners.”
Anyone interested in the program can contact the Highway Department at 715-345-5230 or find the program at the Department’s website under the Policies, Procedures, and Permits section: http://www.co.portage.wi.us/department/highway-department/highway-department-policies-procedures-and-permits.