The Highway & Bridges Department maintains most of Shelton’s infrastructure. With a staff of 35 employees the department is responsible to maintain and repair over 600 city streets that cover 216 miles. They maintain over 4000 catch basins, 60 miles of sanitary sewer, the repair and installation of curbing, drainage, guard rails, street and traffic control signs, mowing and brush cutting. As well as maintaining the City’s 220 pieces of equipment and vehicles. In addition, they coordinate the municipal Trash and recycling collection, household hazardous waste day collection and the curb side bagged leaves collection each spring and fall for the composting program. Consistently, they respond to off hour emergencies such as black ice, fallen trees, or sewer backups.
Snow and ice removal from city streets is one of the most visible/vital functions performed by the Department, and is subject to the most variables. We strive to be expeditious and efficient in the removal of snow and ice from city streets, municipal buildings and commuter parking lots. Various control procedures have been established to ensure effective service is provided to arterial and residential streets.
The City is divided into 23 plow routes, each with its own primary and secondary routes. Primary routes and bus routes receive priority attention during snow and ice control operations. These routes are treated so as to achieve bare pavement as soon as possible following the conclusion of a snowstorm. The department’s objective is to have all primary and secondary routes treated and or plowed within 12 hours following the conclusion of a snowfall.
During snow and ice conditions, emergency calls from the Police and Fire Departments regarding accidents, medical or other emergency conditions are given priority. Requests for treating non-priority streets during a snow event generally cannot be honored. We ask all citizens to recognize that snowfalls do not discriminate in the creation of treacherous road conditions. The conditions that prompt a call about poor road conditions probably exist throughout the City. Rerouting equipment in response to such a call disrupts the pattern that is designed ultimately to clear the entire City of hazard. It is the responsibility of the City Highway Department to provide an adequate driving surface as soon as possible following a snowfall.
At the onset of a snowfall, the efforts of the department are initially directed toward priority routes. Upon completion of the designated priority routes, the department moves on and begins treatment of secondary streets with hilly and curved areas. Next flat secondary routes are spot salted with emphasis at intersections and stop signs. Streets in residential areas are considered lower priority and are spot salted after priority and secondary routes are completed.
A most frequent complaint from residents is that their driveways and sidewalks have been plowed full of snow by the trucks. While this is an inconvenience, it is necessary if streets are to be cleared for travel in a timely, cost- effective manner. If snow and ice are allowed to remain on the streets, it causes poor drainage and deterioration of asphalt. Safety is another factor. Many streets are bordered by parking spaces. Allowing snow to pile up can create a hazard by forcing parked cars closer to traffic as more snow accumulates. Therefore, plow drivers will try to clear the streets to the curb line. To minimize the frustrating problem of the snowplow covering your driveway with snow after you’ve just shoveled it, stand facing the street and shovel snow into the yard instead of into the street. Depositing of snow or ice onto any public street or sidewalk is prohibited. Snow must be kept on the property it comes from. Snow from your driveway may not be taken across the street. This also applies to private vendors who plow for fees. This is against City Ordinances and you may be fined.
We are asking all residents to be patient in the event of a snow storm. The plows will get to your street as quickly as possible. However, your patience is of utmost importance. Everyone would like their road or street plowed first; however, we have limited crews with a limited amount of trucks and plows. PLEASE understand our crews are trying their best to accommodate everyone, however, we cannot do it all at once.
WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING
Mailbox Damage Policy
Regrettably, in extreme winter conditions, mailboxes can be damaged during snow removal because they are installed close to the road in the highway right-of-way as a courtesy to the US Postal Service. In most cases, damage to mailboxes is a result of the force of snow coming off a plow’s blade. This scenario is dependent on weather conditions, amount of snowfall, and the weight of snow. Residents should check their mailboxes and their supporting posts in the fall to see if they could stand the rigors of a heavy snowfall. The City will not replace any mailboxes that are not directly hit by the plow. If you believe a City of Shelton plow directly hit and damaged your mailbox, it must be reported within 48 hrs from the end of the storm. If it is determined that the City is responsible for the damaged box and the associated structure, it will make the necessary repairs. If the mailbox is damaged beyond repair per Ordinance sec. 14-7 the liability of the city will be the lesser of the actual cost of repair or the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) This is normally a standard rural mailbox and a 4X4 post. If, due to weather conditions, permanent installation can’t be made, a temporary box and post will be installed.