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Town of Freeport
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PUBLIC WORKS WINTER OPERATION DETAILS

In the winter months, Public Works maintains 84 miles of public roads. We divide this mileage into 7 plow routes. It will take us over two hours to complete most plow routes under typical conditions. During intense storms, it can take up to four hours to complete a plow route, so a significant accumulation of snow can develop in the roadways while we are plowing - be prepared.

When A Storm Begins:
For night time and weekend storms Public Works and the Police Department work together when road conditions deteriorate. When a snow storm begins (or freezing rain) our plow units also have sanders and we start work by first sanding or salting the roads. Our goal is to keep the roads as safe as possible and try to keep the snow or ice from bonding and packing to the pavement.

As The Storm Continues:
When the snow starts to accumulates we then begin plowing the roads. We concentrate on the main arteries followed by the side streets and our goal is to keep the travel lanes open. We will continue plowing the routes until the storm subsides and then will go back over all routes to widen the roadways out and clean up and push back at the intersections. We must widen and wing back to maintain the road width and it is our policy to clear the shoulder or approximately 4' beyond the edge of pavement. Again, it will take us from 2 to 4 hours to complete a typical plow route, so for intense storms a significant accumulation can develop in the roadways while we are plowing - be prepared.
Below you will find a sketch showing how your driveway can be initially cleared to reduce the possibility that after the plow passes you will be snow bound again. We suggest that you clear your driveway in the manner shown in the sketch. If you will shovel snow in the direction of traffic, and make a pocket next to your driveway as shown, snow accumulation on the plow will drop into that pocket and only a bare minimum will go into the driveway opening.

After The Storm:
After The Storm:
After the storm stops, we clear back all the roads and apply sand or salt to all areas. We plow snow on 4 miles of sidewalks, and once the storm diminishes we concentrate on opening up the sidewalks. We first do the public buildings and the school zones and then work our way to all other areas. We have two sidewalk tractors for plowing and blowing snow and it will take us 4 to 6 hours after the storm diminishes to clear all the sidewalks that we do. For more detailed information about how to clear a driveway and reduce mailbox damage, Click Here.

How You Can Help:
1. Make certain your vehicle is ready for winter driving and do not drive in winter storms unless absolutely necessary.
2. Reduce your speed. This is the #1 cause of winter accidents.
3. Please do not park in the roadway or shoulder area during a storm. This allows our plows to clear the area the first time through without having to return to clean it up later. Remember, parking on town roads from 11 pm to 7 am is prohibited from November 15 to April 1 and anytime during a storm cars can and have been towed from the streets if they interfere with our work. Also, please do not place any rocks, marker posts or similar obstructions within 6 feet of the road edge. We need to plow out this area for drainage and space to put snow from future storms.
4. Do not shovel, snow blow or have your driveway plowed into or across the road. This is prohibited by law and can cause a serious traffic hazard. If possible, it is best to place snow on the side of your driveway opposite the direction from which the plow is coming. That way, the plow will carry snow away from your driveway rather than back into it.
5. If possible, wait until the street has been plowed before cleaning out the end of your driveway. There is no practical way to plow the streets without depositing snow into your driveway. Please understand the Town cannot go back and shovel or plow out the end of any private driveway.
6. Help reduce the possibility of a broken mailbox post. All our plow operators are urged to take precautions to avoid hitting mailbox posts. However, experience has shown that with reduced visibility during a storm it is not always possible for a driver to see a post in time to avoid striking it with the wing of the plow. Any installation within the highway right-of-way, including a mailbox, is placed there at the owner's risk. Therefore, owners are encouraged to put mailboxes at the maximum usable distance back from the roadway pavement and we recommend a 42" mounting height with reflectors on the post. Posts should also be checked for deterioration such as rot to reduce the possibility of their being broken off simply by the weight of plowed snow.
7. Public Works does not have a dispatcher on duty except during normal work days from 6 am to 3:30 pm (call 865-4461). During a bad storm please only call when absolutely necessary. For emergencies you may also contact the Police Department at 865-4800
8. Don't be misled by plow trucks riding with their plows up. They may be going in for fuel or repairs or headed for another area.
9. Finally, please be patient. Whether it is your driveway for which you are responsible or the 84 road miles that the Town is responsible for, snow removal is an arduous and time consuming job. If a storm is of long duration, we are a small organization with limited reserves and the workers continue around the clock until the job is done. We strive for the safest streets and roads at a reasonable cost in the shortest period of time.