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Litchfield DPW Snow Removal & Ice Control Operations and Guidelines

Posted on
December 14, 2022
Public Works
OFFICE:(860) 567-7575
(860) 567-7578
Litchfield DPW Snow Removal & Ice Control Operations and Guidelines
General:  Litchfield DPW is charged with the responsibility of responding to winter snow and ice events. Our goal is to keep streets passable and reasonably safe during a storm and to clear the streets, curb to curb, within 8 to 12 hours after a storm has ended, unless it is an unusual event. Our plow drivers work long hours in hazardous driving conditions, and we appreciate your patience during snow and ice events.
Snow Routes:  The 120 miles of town roads (approximate) maintained by DPW are divided into 9 snow plow routes. One plow truck and driver is assigned to each plow route for the entire winter season.
Priorities:  During snow events, the primary focus is to provide a safe travel way for cars and emergency vehicles on heavily traveled roadways. While snow is actively falling, plowing is generally limited to the center portion of the roadway to clear a path wide enough for one travel lane at a minimum. As a winter storm subsides, more efforts can be directed to local roadways and cul-de-sacsto ensure as much as the entire travel way gets cleared. Depending on the severity of a storm, it can take up to 4 hours +/- to make at least one pass on all streets in town. Snow removal often continues for 8 to 12 hours after snow has stopped falling.
Mail Box Damage Policy:  During the winter season, it is inevitable that some mailboxes and posts will be damaged during winter plowing operations. Litchfield’s policy is to reimburse residents up to $40.00 for mailboxes (including posts) that are damaged as a result of direct contact with a town snow plow. Mailboxes that are damaged from the force of the snow thrown against them or mailboxes that are located closer than 12” to the roadway are not eligible for reimbursement. 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.
Parking: Parking on the adjoining public street to the residents’ frontage is prohibited during a snow or ice emergency. Any resident who has access to a driveway shall park their vehicle(s) outside the public travel way to allow the plow truck to keep the street passable. Cars can be ticketed and towed if impeding snow removal.  
Blocked Driveways: Snow plows angle the same way, to the driver’s right, and when going by they will push the snow in front of a driveway. Each homeowner is responsible for access to their driveway. The only way to avoid extra shoveling is either to wait until DPW crews have done their final clean up on the street or shovel the snow to the right of your driveway looking toward the street.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I live on a cul-de-sac and end up with a significant amount of snow in my driveway. Why?  Plowing cul-de-sacs is one of the most challenging operations during a snow storm. Most properties on cul-de-sacs have frontages that are narrower than lots on a straight street. Therefore, snow must be pushed into a smaller space.
Why is snow pushed into my driveway by street plows?  It is unavoidable and it is not done intentionally. When we plow a street, we are simply moving the snow that is in the street off to the side of the street. The greater the amount of snow, the more snow that is deposited on the side.
Who is responsible for clearing snow in front of my mailbox?  We plow the streets curb to curb, or as close as we can get. Whatever snow is left in front of mailboxes is the responsibility of the property owner to remove (or at least to move in order for the mailbox to be accessible to the mail carrier).
Can I, as a resident, push snow from my property onto the sidewalk or street?  NO! The Town restricts the act of pushing snow back onto a street and doing so may result in a fine and/or property owner liability if an accident is caused by this snow. Please be respectful of passing motorists expecting a clear street by not putting snow back onto the street. Remember, if you contract for snow removal, you are still responsible for where the snow ends