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Public Works Department

60 & 66 Peter Road
Southbury, CT 06488
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P:(203) 262-0622
Monday - Thursday:
8:00am - 4:30pm
Fri: 8:00am - 1:00pm

Snow Policy


Objective, Procedures, Level of Service, Command, Execution, Adoption, Equipment, Routes, Manpower, Materials, Communications, Schools, Parking, Plow Route Priorities, Roads and Sidewalks not receiving Winter Maintenance, Salt Restricted Areas, Damage to Private Property, Post Storm Operations, Appendix A (Plow Routes), Appendix B (Terminology)

OBJECTIVE: It is the goal and intent of the Southbury Department of Public Works to provide timely, efficient and cost-effective snow removal, ice control and winter maintenance on the roadways of the Town for the safety and benefit of the Town’s residents and the general motoring public.

PROCEDURES: The objective stated above will be achieved by implementation and execution of the procedures and tasks outlined in the Southbury Department of Public Works Procedures for Snow Removal, Ice Control and Winter Maintenance Operations. Due to the many variables that are inherent in New England weather, each storm and/or weather event may require a slightly different effort and/or emphasis on the range of maintenance tasks, which together, represent the overall winter road maintenance strategy.

LEVEL OF SERVICE: It is not always possible to maintain a snow and ice-free road during the entire duration of a given storm event. It is the intention of the Southbury Department of Public Works to provide the safest access possible, given the weather conditions and available resources, to homes, businesses and municipal facilities during winter storms.

It is our policy to begin snow removal operations upon accumulations of approximately two-inches of snowfall. The Director of Public Works or his designee may, at his or her discretion based upon weather information reports, elect to begin to remove snow at greater or lesser accumulations.

Pre-treatment for snow and ice control may be initiated prior to the actual start of the storm. Treatment for snow and ice control may take place during the active portion of the storm if deemed effective or may be applied following the storm to assist in cleanup operations. It should be noted that salt has a much slower effect on melting snow and ice at temperatures below 25 degrees, and may not be applied until it is warmer.

COMMAND: Direction of all winter maintenance activities for the Town of Southbury is vested with the Director of Public Works or his or her designee.

EXECUTION: The policy outlined above is intended to define the normal operating procedures for winter maintenance, snow removal and/or ice control for the Southbury Department of Public Works. One or more of the following, may delay or prevent the implementation of this policy or may affect the Department’s ability to meet any or all of the goals of the Policy:

  • Equipment Breakdown
  • Snow Accumulation in Excess of 1” Per Hour
  • Freezing Rain or Other Icing Conditions
  • Traffic Congestion
  • Emergencies
  • Personnel Illness

ADOPTION: The Southbury Department of Public Works has adopted the Winter Road Maintenance Policy effective July 2005. All residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with its content as it describes the conditions that one might expect to encounter before, during and following a winter storm event.

Procedures For Snow Removal, Ice Control And Winter Maintenance Operations

EQUIPMENT: The Highway Division utilizes all the assets of the department as needed to address snow emergencies. A list of the current rolling stock assets is included in the appendices of this policy.

ROUTES: Currently, the Town of Southbury is divided into fourteen (14) treatment routes. Several of the treatment routes are comprised of more than one plow route such that there are twenty-one (21) major snowplow routes. Each of the routes encompasses both collector roads and residential streets. Additionally, there are four (4) small trucks with 4-way plows that are used to maintain emergency service facilities and municipal parking areas, plow gravel roads, clear cul-de-sacs, and to assist in support of trucks assigned specific routes.

The Town uses two (2) wheeled loaders and one (1) backhoe loader to load snow for removal to disposal areas should it accumulate to a point where it may restrict parking or reduce sightline distances at intersections. The Town employs one (1) road grader to remove "hard pack" or ice build-up and to push back snow windrows alongside rural roads. The Town also employs one (1) plow truck equipped with a wing plow to shelf back snow banks following heavy snowfalls. A hydraulic snow blower mounted on a tractor boom arm is used to clear snow banks not accessible to the Town’s wing plow or grader. Snow removal from sidewalks at municipal facilities is the responsibility of the Outside Properties Division of the Southbury Public Works Department. Snow removal from sidewalks abutting private property is the responsibility of the abutting property owner in accordance with the Southbury Code of Ordinances Section 15-3.

MANPOWER: The Town of Southbury has twenty-three (23) full time personnel assigned to its winter maintenance operations. Four (4) or five (5) contracted trucks and drivers are also utilized.

MATERIALS: The Department of Public Works will use an average of approximately two thousand four hundred (2,400) tons of treated rock salt each season. Treated salt is employed by the Department of Public Works as a de-icing and anti-icing agent. A quantity of approximately eight hundred (800) tons of treated salt is purchased early each November and is stored in a covered salt bin at 60 Peter Rd. Treated salt is then purchased from a supplier as needed throughout the winter season and replenished in the storage building following each storm.

Unless weather conditions require a different approach, winter maintenance routes are pre-treated with an application of treated salt. The salt is applied to the center of the roadway where traffic can work the material traveling either way. The salt creates liquid brine which melts snow and/or ice, and resists snow and ice packing on the roadway. The road crown further assists with the spreading of the salt brine. While untreated salt is only effective to approximately 20 degrees Fahrenheit, the treated salt used by the Town will still provide some melting effects to about -5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Department also maintains a stockpile of approximately 400 tons of sand/salt mixture (4 parts sand, 1 part salt) and a stock pile of about 500 tons of straight sand for use in isolated storm events such as ice storms, freezing rain and sub –zero storms that may require abrasives to improve the traction of the public’s motor vehicles. The supply of sand and sand/salt is stockpiled each fall alongside the Highway Division’s salt building and in the department’s storage yard.

COMMUNICATIONS: All of the Public Works rolling stock is equipped with high band radios capable of transmitting and receiving. Each equipment operator is assigned a unique call number. A list of all call numbers is displayed in each piece of equipment or truck. Radios are also maintained at the Highway Division garage and the Public Works main office. Through the central dispatch center at Police Headquarters Public Works personnel are able to communicate with the Town police and fire departments.

SCHOOLS: The Highway Department does not have the responsibility for the clearing of snow and sand/salt treatment of the School District’s access roads, driveways or parking lots. On days when school is in session, additional effort is made to coordinate winter maintenance operations with bus routing and student delivery.

The School Superintendent or his designated representative typically contacts the Department of Public Works to determine the condition of the municipality’s roads in order to determine whether it is safe to transport students using school buses. The School Superintendent or his designated representative then makes the decision to cancel or postpone school for that day.

PARKING: The Town has enacted a winter parking ban effective from November 15th to April 1st of each year. This ban prohibits parking in or on the Town's roads or rights-of-way (ROW). The Town has the right to tow or ticket violators. The purpose of this winter parking ban is to allow winter maintenance crews unobstructed snow removal and ice control routes, as much as possible, to maintain the maximum effectiveness of their efforts.

PLOW ROUTE PRIORITIES: With a total of one hundred thirty-two (132) miles of roads from which to remove snow and control ice and twenty-six (26) pieces of equipment to handle this responsibility, the Highway Division has to assign priorities for winter maintenance activity in order to maximize the effectiveness of their efforts for the motoring public.

  1. During storms where the rate of snow fall or other conditions render it impossible to keep an entire route free from undue accumulation of snow or ice, priority will be given to keeping open all arterial streets, collector streets and other major traffic volume streets that comprise the network of streets vital to the movement of emergency service vehicles. Minor collector streets, residential streets and cul-de-sac streets will be opened as soon as conditions allow. Once all streets are opened efforts will be concentrated on pushing back and widening streets to their full width. At all times assistance will be rendered to emergency vehicles responding to calls.
  2. School bus routes will be given first priority during school days. Each driver will endeavor to provide the best possible snow clearance on his plow route and aim to be completed one hour prior to the bus route start time.
  3. The business district will be maintained as well as possible during business hours, with the main snow clearance effort to be done primarily during the hours of 11:00 PM. to 7:00 AM. Public safety is a real concern in the vicinity of retail and office buildings due to heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic in such areas.
  4. Public parking areas at the rear of the Town Hall and other municipal building parking lots will be maintained by plowing during the winter storm. The application of slip resistant materials will be made after the storm if determined to be needed by the Road Foreman.
  5. Transfer Station/Recycling Center: Transfer station personnel may be required to clear snow from the facilities driveways and access areas. If the facility is open during the snow or ice storm, personnel will plow access areas prior to opening for the public use. Public areas shall be kept as clear as possible to provide access which is as safe as reasonably possible. Sand and other slip resistant materials may be used in public areas. It often will not be possible to maintain ground surfaces clear of snow accumulation during transfer station operations but a reasonable effort will be made to function effectively during winter storms.
  6. Fire Hydrants: The Department of Public Works is not responsible for the clearing of snow from fire hydrants. Owners of adjacent property generally clean snow from the vicinity of the hydrants. In extreme cases, the Heritage Water Company may dispatch personnel to clear hydrants.
  7. Each specific plow route is depicted on the map (or list) attached to this policy.

Roads And Sidewalks Not Receiving Winter Maintenance

The Town of Southbury does not maintain a number of roadways during winter storms. It also does not clear snow or ice from sidewalks, other than those fronting on municipal property, as part of its ongoing winter maintenance activities. The areas not maintained by the Town include:

A. Private roads.
B. Park access ways or parking areas.
C. School District driveways, sidewalks and parking areas, which are the responsibility of the school district.
D. State Highways (CT Routes 6, 67, 172, 188 and Kettletown Road)

SALT RESTRICTED AREAS: The Town of Southbury has no established roadways or portion of roadways designated as “salt restricted” areas to protect water resources or other natural resources which may be impacted by roadway salt. A “salt restricted” area is one in which the municipality has determined it will minimize use of salt as part of its ice control efforts for winter maintenance.

DAMAGE TO PRIVATE PROPERTY: The Town of Southbury is not responsible for damage to private property that is located within the public right-of-way. The right-of-way (ROW) is typically 50’ wide and extends approximately 12 feet to either side of the paved roadway surface. Property owners often confuse this area of public right-of-way with their property. Homeowners often extend lawns, place mailboxes, install sprinkler systems, plant flowers, shrubs and trees, erect fences or stonewalls in these areas. These improvements often enhance the appearance of the property but create an obstruction to good maintenance of the roadway.

In the event of personal property damage, other than mailboxes, the Town of Southbury will only be responsible to repair or replace damaged property that is located on private property and not within the public right-of-way and that has actually been contacted or struck by the snow removal equipment. The Town's policy regarding mailbox damage is stated elsewhere - Mailbox Information.

POST STORM OPERATIONS: As determined by the Director of Public Works, the snow banks resulting from the previous accumulations shall be pushed back, using the plow or other suitable equipment to make space for future snow storms.

Appendix A

Plow Routes

Route Number Truck Number Route Vicinity
1 37 Spruce Brook Rd, Purchase Brook Rd, W. Purchase Rd area
1A 80 Spruce Brook Rd, Purchase Brook Rd, W. Purchase Rd area
1B ST 1 Spruce Brook Rd, Purchase Brook Rd, W. Purchase Rd area
2 9 River Rd., Purchase Brook Rd., East Flat Hill Rd. area
3 81 Oakdale Manor, Berkshire Rd, Russian Village area
4 45 Lakemere Drive area
5 2 Georges Hill Rd. area
6 41 Peter Rd., Bullet Hill Rd., No. Georges Hill Rd. area
7 8 Jeremy Swamp Rd., Jacob Rd., Burr Rd., Hulls Hill Rd. area
7A 7 Jeremy Swamp Rd., Jacob Rd., Burr Rd., Hulls Hill Rd. area
8 10 Pepper Tree Hill Rd, Bagley Rd., Curt Smith Rd. area
8A. HI 1 Pepper Tree Hill Rd, Bagley Rd., Curt Smith Rd. area
9 9 Bucks Hill Rd., Luther Dr., Munn Rd. area
9A ST 2 Bucks Hill Rd., Luther Dr., Munn Rd. area
10 54 Chestnut Tree Hill Rd., Reservoir Rd., Judd Rd. area
10A S&S Chestnut Tree Hill Rd., Reservoir Rd., Judd Rd. area
11 75 Main St. South, Old Waterbury Rd, Dublin Rd. area
12 22 Dublin Hill Rd., Mansion House Rd., Old Field Rd. area
13 5 Colonial Acres area, Flagg Swamp area
14 11 Heritage Village area, Stiles Rd. area
15 46 Cedar Land area, Flood Bridge Rd area
15A 50 Cedar Land area, Flood Bridge Rd area

Appendix B

Terminology

In an effort to avoid confusion, the following standardized terminology with activity definitions is established. When directed to do so, operators will perform winter maintenance tasks in accordance with these definitions.

Pre-Treat Roads – Roads will be spread with treated salt in advance of a storm event. The decision to pre-treat will be made by the Road Foreman or Director of Public Works. Salt will typically be spread along the centerline of the roadway.

Treat Roads – Roads will be spread with treated salt in the course of a storm event. Assigned route will be treated spreading salt on all roads, intersections and cul-de-sacs in such a manner that one backtracks as little as possible.

Retreat Roads – Go over assigned route spreading additional salt on roads, intersections and cul-de-sacs as may be necessary depending on conditions and driver's evaluation.

Treat Mains – Treat just the high traffic volume roads.

Sand Roads – Roads will be spread with “straight” sand or sand/salt mix, as determined by the Road Foreman, over the travel width of the road. It may be necessary to spread in both directions to get complete coverage.

Open – Just keep the center of roads open; not spending a lot of time clearing intersections or turnarounds. This normally will be employed while snow is falling heavily and there is a need to recirculate through the driver’s routes in as short a time as possible. (One-inch per hour would result in three to four inches of snow accumulating at any point on a route before a truck gets back to it.)

Open Intersections – Clear snow build up from intersections as snow gets deeper, the driver will need to make extra passes at intersections to allow vehicle traffic to flow better.

Scrape Off – Scrape off any snow/ice that has loosened up from treating with salt. Normally, it will require one pass each way unless advised to push back and clean up.

Push Back – After storms diminish push back snow windrows to clear the full width of the road allowing access to driveways and mailboxes and opening drains.

Cleanup – Clear remaining snow from all roads and prepare to cease operations. Clean snow from intersections, turn arounds, and cul-de-sacs. Some areas may require more than one pass.

Shelf Back – After storms, it may be necessary to send a wing truck or grader to push back snow windrows and provide space for snow from future storms. A loader may be assigned to clean up intersections or cul-de-sacs.

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