|*** 2023 SEASONAL WEIGHT LIMITS ENDING 05/01/2023 ***|
|Temporary weight limits on all county trunk highways and town roads in the County and Town of Menominee will end on Monday, May 1, 2023, at 8:00 a.m. We thank the public and businesses for their cooperation and patience over the past six weeks while the weight restrictions were in effect. We also thank the Menominee County Sheriff’s Department, Menominee Tribal Police Department, Menominee Tribal Conservation Department, and the Menominee Tribal Enterprises for their enforcement efforts. /s/ Jeremy C. Weso, Highway Commissioner
See posting here: Lifting of 2023 Seasonal Weight Restrictions
Menominee County Highway Department (MCHD) strives to provide the commuting public with a safe and efficient driving experience on all public access roads located within the County of Menominee and Menominee Indian Reservation. It accomplishes this through—
• Snow removal and ice control;
• Woody vegetation and brush control;
• Drainage installation and maintenance;
• Mowing and control of unwanted vegetation;
• Installation and maintenance of all traffic control devices (e.g. signs, guard rail, etc.);
• Litter control;
• Road resurfacing and repair;
• Ditching and shouldering; and
• Grading and graveling.
In addition, MCHD issues permits providing access to and/or construction within various rights-of-way managed by MCHD and owned by the State of Wisconsin, County of Menominee, Town of Menominee, and Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.
Description of Department
MCHD offices are located in Keshena, Wisconsin, approximately 1.5 miles north of the Shawano-Menominee County line on STH 47 and approximately 0.25 miles east on Chief Carron Road (at the intersection of Go Around Road, or BIA Route 85). Click on this link below to see a Google Map of our location: maps.google.com/maps/ms. Our facilities include a 35,458 sq. foot building (includes administrative offices, shop, inventory, and equipment storage), a 7,200 sq. foot cold storage shed, and a 2,373 sq. foot salt storage shed.
MCHD consists of the following 11 employees (click on the link under the person's name if you would like to send him/her an e-mail):
1. Jeremy C. Weso, Highway Commissioner;
2. Ken Casper, Patrol Superintendent (Legend Lake - South);
3. Brittany Anderson, Office Manager;
4. Two Highway Maintenance Specialists:
• Richard "Rick" Wilber (STH 47 route);
• Slade King (STH 55 route);
5. Five Maintenance Technicians:
• Eliott Miller (Legend Lake - North route)
• John Eggert (Keshena route)
• Francis "Frankie" Reiter (South Branch route)
• Andy Gracia (VV-West, West Branch, and Middle Village route)
• Adrian Feather (Neopit-Zoar route)
6. Pat Roberts, Mechanic.
The following flowchart shows how the department is organized:
Department Policies, FAQs and Other Information
- Snow Removal and Ice Control Policy
- Snow Plow Route (County/Reservation Wide)
- Snow Plow Route - Neopit
- Snow Plow Route - Legend Lake
- Menominee County/Reservation Road Safety Audit
- Access (Driveway) Permits Policy
- Fillable Access Permit Application
- WCHA Utility Access Policy
|Does Menominee County Highway Department (MCHD) have a snow plowing policy? Yes. The Snow Removal and Ice Control Policy was approved by the Highway Committee and the County Board. It was designed in a “question and answer” format similar to this FAQ. Many of the questions you might have are already answered in that document, so you should refer to that document for more details.
How many snowplow routes are there? We have eight plow routes: (1) Keshena area; (2) Neopit and Zoar area; (3) Legend Lake South area; (4) Legend Lake North area; (5) South Branch area; (6) West Branch and Middle Village area; (7) STH 47; and (8) STH 55. During bad storms, we will also send out two operators to plow using a front end loader and a grader.
What are the road priorities? In short, Priority 1 roads are State Highways 47 and 55, and fire, EMS, and law enforcement access roads. Priority 2 roads are County roads AA, VV, and MM; local government office roads (e.g. County courthouse, Tribal Offices); and roads providing critical connecting points (e.g., Old South Branch Road, Rabbit Ridge, Long Lake Road, Rushes Lake Crossover, etc.). Priority 3 roads are paved town roads (e.g. Silver Canoe, Spotted Fawn, Rainbow Road, etc.). Priority 4 roads are all others, including all gravel roads. Refer to the Snow Removal and Ice Control policy for a more detailed listing.
Why do the response times of MCHD operators vary? Each snowfall or winter event is different. Air temperature, road temperature, type of snow/precipitation, rate of snowfall/precipitation, previous condition of the road, traffic, wind speed, and a host of other factors contribute to our overall response time. For this reason, one snowfall event that took three hours to respond to the last time does not mean the next one will take three hours as well, even if it’s a similar snowfall event.
Why are gravel roads sometimes left unplowed? If the snow on the gravel road is under three inches or so, we’ll purposefully leave gravel roads unplowed if we anticipate a rain, freezing rain, or similar icing event. If we blade and sand gravel roads before an icing event, the ice will quickly reform on the gravel road and turn the road surface into a thick sheet of ice. It will also waste the sand. The snowpack will provide better traction for vehicles until we’re able to treat the road.
Does Highway plow every road the day of a storm? That is our goal. Unfortunately, the weather does not always cooperate. If the snow or other precipitation is coming down too heavy for our operators to keep up with it, we’ll stay on our Priority 1 and 2 routes.
Why does Highway sometimes miss a road? This is purely accidental. If we have an operator out due to illness, we wind up having the seven other operators cover the missing operator's route. If one of the substitutes is not familiar with the route, he might inadvertently miss a road. We will go back the next day though to take care of it.
When does the Highway Department open during snowstorms? We are regularly open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. During a typical heavy snow event, we’ll open as early as 4:00 a.m. and close as late as 10:00 p.m. During a real bad snowstorm, we might run two shifts over a 24-hour period.
Why does the snowplow operator keep plowing my car in when it’s parked on the side of the road? Our operators try not to, but during heavy snowfall this is almost unavoidable. During heavy snowfall periods, please park your car in your driveway or in a parking lot. This will ensure that the road in front of your house is nice and clear, and it will limit the amount of obstructions our operators have to negotiate around.
Why do plow truck operators keep striking my mailbox? It isn’t intentional. Operators are not always aware they hit a mailbox, for their focus will shift between the plow, the wing, oncoming traffic or vehicles parked on the road, pedestrians, signs, mailboxes, and instruments in the truck cab. What’s more, it isn’t always the plow or wing that hits a mailbox; it’s usually the weight or force of the snow and ice coming off the plow that causes the damage.
Will Highway fix my broken mailbox or post? If Highway damaged your mailbox or post, we will repair or replace it. However, we will only replace mailboxes with standard sized mailboxes. If you have an expensive or large mailbox, you will have to settle for an inexpensive mailbox.
Will Highway repair any landscaping damaged by snow and ice or plows? If the landscaping is located within the right-of-way, Highway will not repair or replace it. The only things generally allowed in the right-of-way by a property owner is a culvert, mailbox, fire number, and utilities. Planters, fences, decorative bushes, and the like should not be in the right-of-way.
Why does Highway keep putting a windrow at the edge of my driveway? This is unavoidable in most instances. In fact, when all of our highway employees go home after their shifts, they have to contend with the same thing. We live in the “snowbelt”, so the windrow for us is a simple fact of life. We have many residents that ask us to direct snow to the other side of the road, but this is not practical or efficient for us to do this with over 400 lane miles of road to plow. Some residents will shovel a rectangular path about four or five feet out from their driveway and about 20 or 30 feet long to minimize the amount of snow that accumulates at the edge of their driveways. This strategy might also work for you.
Why does the snowplow operator keep piling up snow in the right-of-way in front of my yard? Again, we all live in the “snowbelt”, so the snow has to be piled up somewhere. In the cul de sacs, it is especially difficult to evenly distribute the snow amongst other properties, so it tends to get piled up in two or three yards.
Can Menominee County Highway Department (MCHD) plow or salt my driveway? MCHD is prohibited by law from plowing or salting privately owned, commercial, or residential driveways.
Can MCHD use its trucks to tow or push my car out of a ditch? No. Our trucks are not designed to tow or push small vehicles and pickup trucks. We could potentially damage such vehicles, so we leave towing to the professionals.
Why don’t MCHD operators clean out cul de sacs when they initially enter them? When our operators set out on their routes, their initial goal is to open up the roads to make them passable. In cul de sacs, the operator will typically only make one swipe in and one swipe out, usually in a “Y” formation. After all the road priorities are run through, the operator will then cycle back through the road priorities and clean them up (i.e. blade them shoulder to shoulder). Since there are four road priorities and cul de sacs are included in the fourth class, cul de sacs are among the last road areas to be cleaned up.
Why do I sometimes see plow blades up off the road when there is snow on the road? Most likely, the operator has applied salt to the road surface and is letting the salt work its magic. Once the salt has had an opportunity to burn through to the road surface, the operator will come back through and slush the road off.
Why are gravel roads left unplowed during the early winter or late winter? If the gravel roads are not yet frozen, or have begun to thaw after the long winter, the gravel roads can be soft or sponge-like. Putting a plow blade down on the gravel road surface can damage the road or cause the plow to sink into the road. This can gouge the road surface or damage the plow. Our operators will occasionally test the roads to see if they can be plowed. If one of the operators notices their plow grab onto the road, or their tires beginning to rut the road, they will inform all the other operators to stay off the gravel roads.
When and why does Highway apply salt and other times sand-salt? Salt generally stops melting snow and ice at about 15 degrees. At temperatures below that, applying salt is tantamount to throwing salt away. The State requires that we continue to use salt at low temperatures on STH 47 and STH 55, for heavy traffic and solar radiation can help activate the salt at slightly lower temperatures. At real cold temperatures, however, we’ll apply sand-salt. On other major roadways, like county roads and some major town roads (e.g., Long Lake Road and Rushes Lake Road), we’ll generally start out with salt to help prevent ice from bonding to the road surface or to break that bond, but then we will switch over to sand-salt. Salt costs $88 a ton, whereas sand-salt cost $19 a ton. It is more cost effective for us to use sand-salt, but some people prefer we use salt on everything. Unfortunately, too much salt is not good for the environment.
Considering a Career in Highway
Highway operators are in high demand right now. What people in this field most enjoy about the work is the variety: in winter, there is ample opportunity to jump in a plow truck and remove snow and ice; in spring, you're pulling in the shoulders, mowing, clearing culverts, and removing trees; in summer, you're performing route and seal work, grading roads, replacing culverts, and finishing mowing work; and in the fall, you're scrambling to finish what you couldn't from the spring and summer time before the snow begins to fall. If you like working outdoors, appreciate the comaraderie of working with a team, and enjoy operating heavy equipment, a career in Highway as an operator is the ideal career for you. What you will need is this:
- A Commercial Drivers License - Either a Class A or B
- Experience working in a highway or public works department, or a closely related field (e.g., laborer, operator, etc.)
- A fondness for cold, wet, hot, humid, woodticks, mosquitos, the occasional heavy object, sporadic long days and weekend work, and mud.
Concerns and Complaints
If you have any concerns or complaints you would like to pass along to us, please feel free to do so. Please call us at 715-799-3369 or send an e-mail to the Commissioner or the Patrol Superintendent.
About Our Logo
Our logo was created by a local Menominee artist, Mr. James A. Webster III, who transferred ownership of the copyright to the Menominee County Highway Department on April 17, 2003. The logo depicts the Sacred Hoop with the five clans of the Menominee Tribe and the seven generations represented by seven eagle feathers (w/ 5 clans also appearing inside the feathers).
|Contact:||Jeremy C. Weso - Highway Commissioner
Click here to email
|Mailing Address:||W2703 Chief Carron
Keshena, WI 54135
|Physical Address:||W2703 Chief Carron
Keshena, WI 54135
|Hours:||Monday Through Friday
7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
|Safety Commission (Inactive)|