SOP Snow Removal and Ice Control EFF: 12.01.09

Standard Operating Procedures

Bradford, New Hampshire

Date: November 30,2009

Policy: Snow Removal and Ice Control

Governing Laws: RSA 231:92-a, RSA 507-B:2-b (include any local parking bans or local ordinances)

Approval Date:

Next Review Date: (recommend reviewing every couple of years)

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

PROCEDURE: The objective stated above will be achieved by implementation and execution of the procedures and tasks outlined in the Town of Bradford Winter Operations Snow Removal and Ice Control Procedures. Due to the many variables that are inherent in New England weather, each storm and/or weather event may require slightly different effort and/or emphasis on any number of maintenance tasks, which together determine the overall winter maintenance, snow removal or ice control strategy.

LEVEL OF SERVICE: It is not possible to maintain a black snow and ice-free road during a storm. It is the intention of the Town to provide practical, safe access to homes, businesses and municipal facilities during winter storms.

The Road Agent or his assign shall establish and maintain a procedure by which the existence of hazardous road conditions is communicated to the Highway Department. This can be accomplished in any number of ways…actual field observations by the Road Agent or his assign, notification by the State Dept. of Transportation that State roads within Bradford are being treated, and also through our local police department.

All full-time Town employees shall be responsible for alerting the Road Agent, or his assign, of hazardous conditions created by weather conditions. The Road Agent or his assign shall provide road condition information to school representatives as requested.

WINTER STORM MAINTENANCE: Upon notification of a winter storm, the Road Agent or his assign will call out the appropriate Highway employees and equipment to surface treat roads in the following manner:

1. At the onset of a snow storm, the Road Agent or his assign shall have salt/sand spreaders treat the initial 1 to 2 inches of snowfall on our tar road surfaces. This will prohibit additional snow accumulations from bonding to the road surfaces. It will enable our tar roads to remain as free as possible from ice or snow pack, during the actual storm as seen effective, and following the storm. 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.

2. As the storm develops and 2 Vi to 3 inches of snow has accumulated, all of the drivers and available equipment will begin to plow their assigned routes (including gravel roads, providing that the roads have become frozen to a degree that prevents a plow from digging into the road surface.) Trucks that have sand spreaders will spread sand on slippery areas after they clear away the snow. The operators of trucks that do not have spreaders will notify their supervisor when that route is ready for treatment for sand and/or salt mix. There are times when weather conditions are such that snow plowing will not take place until after the storm has ended, for example, with snowfall that has occurred or is occurring and the weather forecast is for a change to freezing rain. Plowing operations might be suspended to allow traffic some traction without the “glazing over” of a cleared surface. At the end of the freezing rain, normal plowing operations would begin again, providing accumulations of ice and/or snow get to a point that traveling is determined to be hazardous by the Road Agent or his assign.

3. When a storm has ended, all road surfaces will be treated if needed, and sidewalks will be cleared, as determined by the Road Agent. Fire cisterns/fire ponds may not be plowed until the following day after the storm. Gravel roads are treated with sand only. Tar roads are treated with salt and/or salt/sand mixture (depending upon the severity of the buildup on the asphalt surface.) Salt is applied at a rate of approximately 500 lbs. per lane mile. Weather conditions may require changing to another option and will be at the discretion of the Road Agent.

COMMAND: Direction of all winter maintenance activities for the Town of Bradford, NH, is vested with the Road Agent or his or her designee.

EXECUTION: The policy outlined above is intended to serve as the normal operating procedure for winter maintenance, snow removal and/or ice control for the Town of Bradford, NH. One or more of the following, which may delay or prevent the implementation of this policy, may affect all or any part of this policy:

  • Equipment breakdown
  • Snow accumulation in excess of 1″ per hour
  • Freezing rain or other icing conditions
  • Traffic congestion
  • Emergencies
  • Personnel illness

EQUIPMENT: The Highway Department utilizes all the assets of the department as needed to address snow emergencies.

ROUTES AND MANPOWER: Currently, the Town is divided into five (5) major plow and/or treatment routes, with five full-time personnel assigned to its winter maintenance operations.

MATERIALS: The Department uses approximately 300 tons of rock salt and 5,000 cubic yards of sand each season. The sand is used as an abrasive and is applied to the road to improve the public’s motor vehicle traction. Salt is used by the Department as a de-icing and anti-icing agent. The supply of untreated sand is stored at the Jones Road pit, while the mixed material is stored under cover at the sand/salt shed at the Highway Garage. Salt is purchased from a supplier as needed. The Highway Department stockpiles a quantity of up to approximately 100 tons. Unless weather conditions require a different approach, winter maintenance routes are treated with salt or a sand/salt mix. The mixture is maintained at a minimum of one part salt to two parts sand. The mixture is applied to the roadway where traffic can work the mix traveling either direction. The mixture, in conjunction with the traffic action, creates a water brine, melting snow and/or ice, and reducing snow and ice packing on the roadway. The road crown further assists with the spreading of the mixture brine. The sand/salt mixture is only effective to approximately 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

COMMUNICATIONS: The majority of the Highway Department rolling stock is equipped with low band radios. Each plow and equipment operator is assigned a unique call number. Operators have the ability to communicate with the Road Agent, as well as the Bradford Police Department.

SCHOOLS: The Highway Department does not have the responsibility for the clearing of snow and winter treatment of the Town schools access roads and parking lots. On days when school is in session, winter maintenance efforts must be timed to coincide with bus routing.

A. The school superintendent or designated official representative and/or School Bus Company shall contact the Road Agent to determine the condition of the town’s roads in order to determine the safety of students using school buses. The school representative(s) shall make the decision to postpone or cancel school for the day.

B. It is important to determine who is canceling or postponing school. It is recommended that the procedure be documented and signed as being agreed upon by both parties. Further, it is recommended that, if the snow and ice removal policies change, they be redistributed to all appropriate parties.

PARKING: The Town has enacted a winter parking ban, effective from November 15 to April 1 of each year. This ban prohibits parking in or on the Town’s roads or rights of way. 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.

ROADS AND OTHER AREAS NOT RECEIVING WINTER MAINTENANCE: The town of Bradford does not maintain a number of roadways and other areas as part of the ongoing winter maintenance activities. The areas not maintained by the Town include:

A. Town roads classified as Class VI roads

B. Private roads

Each specific plow route is depicted on a map posted at the Highway Garage.

SALT FREE AREAS: Gravel roads will not be treated with salt at any time. This is to prevent the frozen gravel from melting.

DAMAGE TO PRIVATE PROPERTY: It should be noted that the municipality isn’t held responsible for damage to private property that is located within the public right of way (RSA 231:92-a.) The right-of-way (ROW) is often 50′ wide, and is often confused by property owners as their own property. In most cases, the ROW often extends 10 to 20 feet of either side of the paved or gravel road. Some homeowners often cultivate extensions of their lawns, place mailboxes, erect fences or stone walls in these areas, which improves the appearance of the street greatly, but is obstructive to good maintenance from being conducted on the roadway.

The snow windrow must be pushed back as far as possible for many reasons, such as:

1. Traffic safety

2. Space for future snow storage

3. Prevention of melting snow water from running onto the pavement

4. To maximize the view of traffic on the roadway

The town cannot assume the responsibility for striking or burying any items in the ROW, or pushing them over due to the weight of the snow windrow. Mailboxes located within road limits exist by sufferance only with the responsibility assumed by the owner.

In the event of personal property damage, the Town of Bradford will only be responsible for repairing or replacing damaged property that was actually in contact with the snow removal equipment that was on private property and not within the public ROW.

To promote the safe and orderly passage of the motoring public on the Town’s roads, free from obstructions and obstacles created by the removal or depositing of snow, the Town Of Bradford hereby adopts the following ordinance:

Pursuant to RSA 236:20, RSA 47:17, paragraph VII and RSA 41:11, it shall be unlawful to plow snow across any and all Town roads, including Class 5 & 6, or to deposit snow within the traveled portion of Town roads.

Definitions:

Across town roads – shall mean pushing snow from one side to the other, where snow would be deposited within the right of way of any road.

Traveled Portion – shall mean any part of the roadway in which vehicles would travel or within the shoulders of said roadway.

Any person who violates these provisions will be subject to a $100.00 fine. Subsequent offenses shall be subject to a fine of up to $500.00.

PRIORITY PLOWING:

A. School bus routes shall receive priority maintenance. These routes shall be depicted on maps as part of the annual planning.

B. Emergency Service buildings shall receive necessary maintenance to provide for emergency personnel to arrive and for vehicles to depart and return safely.

C. Emergency vehicles: as necessary, snow and ice control equipment shall be redirected by the Road Agent from assigned routes to assist emergency vehicles in reaching their destination.

D. Center of town parking areas: snow from parking areas shall be removed as much as possible during normal business hours. After midnight, all cars are required to depart from these areas. At the time, or as equipment and personnel are available, the in-town parking areas shall be cleared. Every effort shall be made to have these areas clear prior to the start of the following business day. All specific areas will be marked with signs.

The Police Department will be notified of vehicles obstructing snow removal equipment, and will be responsible for having the road cleared of these vehicles.

Snow removal equipment is not to attempt to squeeze through or between obstructing vehicles. Snow removal equipment is not to be used to tow, push or otherwise move any vehicles.

ADOPTION: The Town of Bradford, NH, has adopted the Winter Operations Snow Removal and Ice Control Policy effective December 1, 2009. All residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the content as it describes the conditions that one might expect to encounter before, during and after a winter storm event.

BOARD OF SELECTMEN

BRADFORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE

[Approved at the 12.09.09  Select Board Meeting.]