Snow Removal

QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS REGARDING SNOW PLOWING OR SNOW REMOVAL?


CALL 978-856-6707 or
EMAIL snowconcerns@TownofChelmsford.us



Important Reminders to Residents


(Per the Town of Chelmsford bylaws Section 142-34):
  • No person shall pile, push, throw, shovel or by any other method or means cause snow to be deposited or placed on any public roadway or sidewalk or fire hydrant or other similar device in the Town so as to impede, obstruct or interrupt or otherwise adversely affect the unrestricted flow of traffic, or conceal any fire hydrant or other similar device, or the safe travel of any pedestrian on such roadway or sidewalk.
(Per the Town of Chelmsford bylaws Section 142-35):
  • Violations of this article shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $25 for each violation. Each instance or new day shall constitute a separate violation.

The primary goal of the DPW Highway Division during a storm is to maintain passable roads so that emergency crews (police, fire, and ambulance) have access to each property. The secondary goal is to treat the icy surface and/or push the snow aside for the safe passage of the general public's use of the roadways.

There are several variables which affect how we deal with a storm. These include:
  • Air temperatures before, during and after the storm event
  • Time of day
  • Day of week
  • Forecast
  • Duration of storm

Sanding


Generally, with an accumulation of one inch we send out our town-owned sanders. We rely on a private weather forecasting service and the local Police Department night shift officers to advise us of local icy road conditions. The town is divided into nine sanding routes and each driver is issued a map of his assigned route.

Main arterial roads, collector roads, and hilly areas are given priority. The Highway Division superintendent and assistant superintendent directly supervise the overall operations and also respond to isolated problem areas. As usual, a stockpile of sand / salt mixture is available to town residents. This stockpile is maintained at the parking lot at the intersection of Old Westford Road and Graniteville Road.

Plowing


If a storm results in an accumulation of three or more inches, the plows are dispatched. The town is divided into 30 plow routes. These plow routes are serviced by town-owned and contracted vehicles. Each driver is issued a map of their assigned route and is responsible for adequately clearing that route.

Initially, the plows make passes in both directions starting at the centerline of the roadway. This phase "opens up" the center of the street for adequate passage of emergency and other vehicles. Residential streets are plowed with collector streets and hilly terrain given priority where possible. Shorter streets, dead ends, and remotely located streets are addressed last. Tandem plowing is done on main arterial routes for improved emergency response access. After all the streets in the route are "opened up," the plows return to the streets to push the snow back beyond the gutter line. This phase opens the street for normal traffic operations, clears the drains for rain and snowmelt, and makes room for additional accumulations of snow.

Barriers to Plowing


One of the biggest challenges facing the plow drivers in clearing the streets is a car parked in the roadway. In accordance with town bylaws, residents are asked remove vehicles from the streets as early as possible so the plows can get through and remove all of the snow from the streets. It is also advisable to remove portable basketball nets from all roadways to prevent damage from plows. It is in everyone's interest to make the roads more accessible to emergency vehicles and school buses. We also ask that you do not drive during winter storms unless the trip is absolutely necessary. The plows can do their jobs much more efficiently if the streets are not cluttered with curiosity seekers.

Again, residents are requested to please drive slowly and cautiously in winter weather conditions. Speed is the biggest cause of accidents during snowstorms. Remember that the posted speed limits are for ideal driving conditions. Speeds should be reduced and stopping distances increased during winter months.

Mailboxes


To avoid or minimize potential damage to mailboxes, we request that residents check the stability of their mailboxes, replace rotted posts and connectors, and place the mailbox as far back from the paved streets as allowable by the Post Office.

The Town will assess damaged mailboxes and repair the damage ONLY if your mailbox has been physically struck and damaged by a Town plow truck.

Fences / Stone Walls


The Town will assess damage to fences and stone walls. If your fence or stone wall is on the Town layout we are not responsible for this damage. If your fence or stone wall is on your property we will repair the damage ONLY if it was struck and damaged by a Town plow truck.

Sidewalk Plowing


Click below for detail on sidewalk plowing. Please note: schedules are subject to change based on equipment failures and unexpected weather changes.

Sidewalk Plowing Map
Sidewalk Plowing Document
Snow Plowing and Snow Removal Procedures (new 2015/16)