Plows to roll earlier, ahead of school buses
Norwich residents may hear snowplows rumbling down their street this winter earlier than than in the past. That's one of a number of changes detailed in a memo from Larry Wiggins, director of Public Works, that was presented to the Selectboard this week.
The change is intended to get the plow routes completed one time before school buses are on the road, the memo says. A second significant change: adding wing plows, which will enable drivers to make fewer passes and facilitate route consolidation. All changes are being implemented on a trial basis.
Here is what Wiggins wrote:
1) Plowing operations will start with sufficient lead time to allow the plow routes to be completed once prior to the school buses traveling on the roads. Plow operators will pretreat when the storm is in its early stages. (It's a scientific fact that pretreating is cost effective when compared to deicing.)
2) All plow trucks will have a wing plow and it will be used where the road shoulder allows. Any wing plow damage will be repaired in the spring. Residents are encouraged to call Public Works to have a work order created if plow damage is not repaired.
3) Plow routes will be rerouted to address the routes previously performed by the loader with a one-ton plow truck performing the loader duties (at least initially in the winter). All streets/roads will be on a designated plow route and all plow routes will have a designated plow truck operator on a full-time basis.
4) Liquid deicer will be applied in hazardous areas when deemed necessary by the plow truck operator. Liquid deicer will be applied by all drivers in colder weather (< 10 degrees). The liquid deicer currently used by the Public Works Department will be used on a trial basis. Other cold weather measures may be implemented if the current liquid deicer is not effective. These measures may include another liquid, pretreated salt or "super sand."
5) For safety reasons (driver fatigue) the Public Works Department will attempt to limit continuous plowing/treating operations to 16-18 hours. If possible, (based on storm parameters), the Public Works Department will cease plow/treat operations between the hours of 11 pm and 4 am for an operator rest period.
6) The sidewalk tractor will commence plowing operations when approximately 2 inches of snow has accumulated. Winter sand may be applied if liquid deicer is not effective.
7) Street snow pickup will be performed between 11 pm and 5 am. The Public Works Department will pull snow into one traffic lane with the grader and pick up with the loader. Snow removal signs will be posted to warn traffic of snow removal operations. Parking lots will also be addressed during this timeframe if time permits.
8) Please note: The Town is not responsible for property damage (except for mailboxes and yard damage) such as basketball hoops, waste/recycling receptacles, holiday decorations and other improvements located in the right of way. Please also refrain from blowing driveway snow into Town streets and roads.
9) The Town appreciates any resident assistance with clearing sidewalks and fire hydrants.
Please contact me at the Public Works Garage at 802-649-2209 with any concerns or comments regarding the department's snow plowing/removal operations.