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Public Works Department

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

Mailbox Policy

The location of any mailbox within the street right-of-way automatically puts it in a situation where it is vulnerable to the high impact loads from snow and ice cascading off the plows of the Town’s snow removal equipment. While mailboxes provide an opportunity for individual expression, their primary purpose is to provide a reliable receptacle for mail throughout the year. Structural strength and the durability to withstand the rigors of New England weather should be the primary consideration when selecting and installing a mailbox.

The Post Office requires mailboxes to be between 42" to 48" off the ground. The Department of Public Works recommends that your mailbox be a minimum of 12" back from the edge of the road. In this diagram, the mailbox is 18" long and the post is 30" from the road.

Obviously, different mailbox designs will require a different set back of the post, but, if you keep the mailbox at least 12" back from the edge of the road, then the snow plows should pass freely.

Unfortunately, experience has shown that many of the mailbox posts commercially available are less than adequate to withstand the heavy impact of plowed snow. It is strongly recommended that the main support post is either 6”x6” pressure-treated wood or 4” diameter heavy-walled, galvanized pipe. The mailbox support must be securely fastened to the main post. All fasteners should be bolts or screws of substantial length - nails should not be used since they can easily loosen.

The mailbox must be located so that the closest part of the box or post is a minimum of 12” back from a line projected vertically from the face of the curb or at the edge of pavement. This provides adequate clearance for the overhang of the plow to pass by the box without striking it.

Owners should periodically inspect their mailbox for loose fasteners, rotting wood and rusting metal and promptly make necessary repairs or replacements.

By utilizing foresight and a little extra effort now, you can insure that mailbox gives you years of troublefree service.

Mailbox Replacement Policy

The Town’s policy regarding mailboxes damaged during winter snow plowing operations is that it will replace mailboxes only if the mailbox was constructed with adequate clearance from the curb to allow the plow to safely pass, i.e., a mailbox set back at least 12 inches from the road and only if it was actually struck by the snow plow. There must be physical contact between the plow and the mailbox or post. The Town will not replace mailboxes which are damaged by snow being discharged off the snow plow blade. It is expected that, in consideration of New England winters, mailboxes will be constructed and maintained in such a fashion as to allow them to withstand the heavy impacts of snow and ice cascading off the blade of the plow.

It is our experience that many mailbox posts constructed of 4x4 pressure treated lumber fail to withstand the force of the plowed snow due to the brittleness of the wood, the presence of knots or other flaws in the wood, inappropriate fasteners or construction techniques, and weakening or rotting due to prolonged exposure to inclement weather. Posts made of tubular aluminum or steel often corrode over the years and can easily be snapped off right at the ground level by relatively light pressure against the mailbox.

In order to avoid problems, residents are advised to inspect both their mailbox and post in advance and to replace any loose nails with screws, to tighten or replace any loose screws, to replace any loose or deteriorated wood and to reinforce the post, if necessary.

In order to insure that there is always adequate room to plow new fallen snow, it is common practice to clear the entire paved roadway. This provides maximum clearance between the roadside snow embankments and prevents future storms from constricting the road and creating an unsafe condition. It also allows access to mailboxes and newspaper receptacles and opens up storm drains to allow melting snow to runoff properly. This is the reason that this department plows as close to the edge of the road as possible.