Plowing Ahead

There’s no major snow in the forecast (though it will be c-c-c-cold!). And director of public works Steve Edwards is retiring.

But — in one of his last acts — he offered this information for the next big snowfall.*

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123 miles of streets in Westport are maintained by the Department of Public Works. Snow removal can cost up to $2,500 per hour. It is important that the town use its resources wisely. Cooperation from residents can help minimize cost.

PLOW ROUTES. Streets are plowed and sanded in order of priority. Main (collector) roads are addressed first, with special attention to steep hills and difficult intersections.

Side streets are done next; then dead-end streets. A single pass is made on side streets to keep them open, but primary emphasis is placed on main roads until the storm has stopped. This may not seem fair to the residents of side or dead-end streets, but main roads must remain open.

Westport’s Public Works guys, in action a few years ago. (Photo/Luke Hammerman for Inklings)

BLOCKED DRIVEWAYS. All snow plows angle the same way: to the driver’s right. They can’t avoid pushing snow in front of driveways. Each homeowner is responsible for access to his driveway. The only way to avoid extra shoveling is to wait until DPW crews have completed their final cleanup on your street.

SIDEWALKS. Per town ordinance, property owners located within the business district are responsible for keeping all sidewalks along their property clear of snow and ice.

MAILBOX DAMAGE. The town repairs or replaces only mailboxes and/or posts that are actually struck by a plow blade. Usually a paint mark or tire tracks supply evidence of a mailbox strike. Westport does not repair or replace mailboxes and/or posts that fall from the force of plowed snow. Mailboxes and supporting posts must be installed to withstand the rigors of snow removal, including the force of snow pushed from the street onto the roadside.

TOWN RIGHT OF WAY. Belgium block, landscaping, dog fences, sprinklers, lights, etc. within the town right-of-way are subject to damage during winter operations. The town does not repair or replace any such items installed within the town right-of-way.

PRIVATE PLOWING. The Town of Westport prohibits plow contractors from pushing snow from driveways or parking lots onto town streets. This practice is dangerous, and impedes the town’s snow removal efforts. If there is no other alternative to pushing snow into the street, the plow driver must plow off the windrow left across the street by re-plowing until the road is safe. This may not necessarily mean bare pavement, but it should be no worse than when the driver began work.

Residents with questions or complaints should call Public Works: 203-341-1120.

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*Which, we all know, is a matter of when. Not if.

In this scene, no one had yet cleared Main Street — or the sidewalks. So you know what? Enjoy the snow! (Photo/Katherine Hooper)

2 responses to “Plowing Ahead

  1. Dan, you continue to help maintain our wonderful connection to Westport. Thanks for your terrific creative postings. Even the cold weather reminders fail to cool our appreciation for you and your work. Happy new(est) year.

    From warm, sunny Sarasota- Frank Henrick

  2. Icy cold, yet the Arctic permafrost is thawing… Fasten your seatbelts, our food chain is in trouble. Start by blaming human plastic “sewage lagoons” contaminants.