With winter approaching and colder temperatures finally settling in, the Physical Plant Department (PPD) has reviewed and updated a comprehensive snow response plan for The University of New Mexico (UNM).

PPD collaborates with many UNM departments in preparation for inclement weather and campus closures. They include Parking &Transportation Services (PATS), the UNM Police Department, Residence Life & Student Housing (RLSH), and other campus entities to ensure the snow response plans are up-to-date, priority areas are appropriately categorized, and the responsibilities of each department are clearly defined and communicated. 

The following areas of UNM’s Albuquerque campus have been classified as “critical need” and will be the first part of campus to be cleared during snow removal efforts:

  1. Camino de Salud from Yale Blvd. to Hospital entrance
  2. Yale Blvd. from the Duck Pond to Tucker Rd.
  3. Tucker Rd. from University Blvd. to Stanford Dr.
  4. Frontier Ave. from Vassar Dr. to University Hospital receiving area
  5. Patient and handicapped parking North of Family Practice (Bldg. 234)
  6. Camino de Salud West of University Blvd.
  7. UNM Police Department at Hokona Hall
  8. Buena Vista Rd. South of Las Lomas and the Scholes Hall area
  9. Redondo Dr.
  10. Campus Dr.
  11. UNM Police Station

Willie West, acting associate director of PPD’s Environmental Services, explained that these specific areas of campus enable emergency crews to navigate on campus should there be any emergency response needed on campus.  These areas provide patient care, emergency vehicle access on roadways, and primary traffic routes. After these ‘critical’ areas are cleared, work to the interior campus sidewalks, building entrances, and secondary streets will begin.

PPD has a fleet of plow trucks, spreaders, and other smaller vehicles that are equipped to remove snow quickly and apply de-icing materials such as sand, road salt, and ice melt to sidewalks and roadways.  PPD stores enough of this material to respond to four, average-sized snow events on campus, due to limitations of storage space. 

“It is our goal to make all areas of UNM safe and accessible for motorists and pedestrians as quickly as possible after a snowfall. Please be patient and observant of the staff performing snow and ice removal operations in order to allow them to complete the process quickly, efficiently, and safely,” said West.