WINTER STORM OPERATIONS

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Public Works Department
27 West Main Street, New Britain, CT 06051
Tel: (860) 826-3350    Fax: (860) 826-3353

Public Works’ mission is to improve operations every year while providing the people of New Britain great value for their tax dollars.

WINTER STORM OPERATIONS AND POLICIES

Timely information of snow removal will be published here during the winter months.

Snow Plow

 

General

New Britain Public Works is charged with the responsibility of responding to winter snow and icing events on the over 170 miles of City streets with the goal of providing cost effective snow and ice clearing operations that will keep the city’s roadways passable during storm events, minimize the hazards caused by slippery road conditions, and help restore safe traveling conditions throughout the City as soon as possible after the end of each storm.

 

**NEW**: Download the 2015-16 Snow Preparedness Brochure for winter tips, and more here.  

 

Click on any of the Snow Operations related topics below for more information on the City’s Snow Operations:

  

Snow Routes, Operations, and Priorities

Parking Bans

Snow Emergency Routes

Sidewalk Clearing

Trash Containers

Catch Basins and Storm Water Inlets

Treated Salt Anti-Icing Agent

Reduction of Sand Use

Driveway Clearing Tips

Other Snow Removal responsibilities of the Public Works Department

Snow Removal by Other City Departments

Emergencies

Free Winter (Treated) Sand

Winter Driving Checklist & Tips

Questions and Concerns during Snow and Ice Storms

 

Snow Routes, Operations, and Priorities

The 170+ miles of City streets have been divided into 15 Snow Routes with two additional Snow Routes devoted towards snow removal on dead-end streets.  In general, one large snow plow is assigned to each of the Snow Routes, with 2 to 4 smaller “chaser” trucks used to assist the larger trucks. 

Streets in each Snow Route are designated as either primary or secondary streets depending on the type of street (local, collector, or arterial) and if the street has been designated as a snow emergency route.  Prior to and during commuter hours, primary and emergency route streets are given priority for snow and ice clearing operations. 

Please take note that depending on the severity of the storm, it can take up to 8 hours to make passes on all streets, and snow operations often continue for 12 to 24 hours after precipitation has stopped falling and each City Street has been cleared curb to curb.     

In 2008 New Britain switched from a sand/salt based operation to a treated salt based Winter Storm operations.  This resulted in numerous changes in how the Department managed our snow removal operations, and greatly improved the effectiveness of our efforts.  For more information read the sections on Treated Salt Anti-Icing Agent and Reduction of Sand Usage below. 

We appreciate your patience during snow and icing events.  Winter Storm Operations on City streets are an extremely difficult task.  Snow fighters work long hours and in hazardous driving conditions to help assure that our goals are met and the citizens of New Britain get the high level of service they deserve.   

To view a map showing the City’s Snow Routes click here.

Parking Bans

People are encouraged to utilize off-street parking for all winter snow and ice storms to make the task of clearing City streets easier and Public Works efforts more effective for everyone that uses our City’s streets.  Although Parking Bans may be implemented at other times, in general, parking bans are implemented for storm events where 3” or more of snow is predicted.  This guideline is useful for residents to avoid the hassle and unwanted expense of being towed and subject to a fine when parking bans are in effect.  Parking Bans are announced through local radio, TV & newspaper media.

Once a Parking Ban has been called, free parking will be available at the following locations during the ban:

Osgood Park

Stanley Golf Course

Quonset hut parking lot at 655 Slater Road

Chesley Park

Washington Park (lot opposite Gold Street)

Martha Hart Park

Broad Street Municipal lots (corner of Washington Street)

City parking garages (Bank Street/Chestnut Street and Columbus Boulevard at the corner of Washington Street)

All vehicles parked on city streets while the ban is in effect are subject to a $99.00 parking ticket and may be towed at the owner’s expense.  Residents are urged to cooperate with the parking ban to facilitate the removal of snow from city streets. 

Snow Emergency Routes

If your street is a snow emergency route, there is no parking Dec 1 through April 15 from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

Click here to see if your street is a Snow Emergency Route.

Sidewalk Clearing

Residents are reminded that by City Ordinance it is the responsibility of owners and occupants of buildings and vacant lots to remove snow, sleet and ice from public sidewalks abutting their property within 24 hours after the storm has concluded. The City also appreciates your help clearing snow around fire hydrants to help keep our neighborhoods safe.

Failure to comply with this ordinance may result in a fine, and in high pedestrian and Downtown areas, may result in the City removing the snow from the sidewalk themselves and billing the property owner for the costs incurred.     

Please remember that the final snow plow pass is not made until several hours after the storm has concluded.  Our snow plow drivers are directed to try and minimize the amount of snow directed onto previously cleaned sidewalks and driveways, but it is often times unavoidable.   For smaller storms residents may want to consider not clearing their driveways and sidewalks until after our snow plow drivers have completed the final pass of their street, or residents should recognize that they may need to clear their sidewalks and driveways more than one time for larger snow and ice storms. 

Your cooperation in clearing the sidewalks is an essential safety measure for school children and other pedestrians using the sidewalks.

Trash Containers

Residents are encouraged to hold off a week from their regular weekly curbside trash pick-up day if possible during major storm events.  Trash containers shall not be placed on snow banks.  When snow banks exist, trash containers shall be placed at the end of your driveway at a location accessible to the trash hauler. 

Catch Basins and Storm Water Inlets

The City asks for help in clearing snow from around catch basins and other storm water outlets to allow for melting snow and rain to drain off the roadway and to prevent the icing and flooding of City streets.  This includes keeping catch basin grates free of leaves and other debris all year long.

Treated Salt Anti-Icing Agent

In the winter of 2008/2009 New Britain Public Works switched from sand/salt based to treated salt anti-icing agent based Winter Storm Operations. Treated salt anti-icing agents are one of the relatively new weapons being used in the snow and ice control field.  The treated salt anti-icing agent involves the treatment of roads with anti-icing products in advance of snow storms.  Anti-icing refers to a collection of strategies and techniques used to prevent snow from bonding to the road surface. Salt and salt treated with magnesium chloride is applied to the road surface in advance of the storm. The salt lowers the freezing temperature of water and prevents ice from bonding to the road. De-icing, in contrast, refers to snow and ice removal after bonding has occurred. Anti-icing creates a brine on the road surface that acts as a barrier between falling snow and the pavement. Snow may accumulate on the road surface, but because of the barrier, the snow won’t bond to it. The key to anti-icing is the application of salt. Timing is everything: if the salt is applied to the road too soon, the resulting brine may freeze as the falling snow dilutes it. If it is applied too late after the storm begins, snow will have already bonded to the road surface. Treated salt will form a brine faster than standard rock salt. It also bounces less than standard rock salt, so more material stays on the roadway and less in the gutter. Snowplow crews can more easily keep the road clear because they are working with snow that has not bonded to the pavement.  

Anti-icing has many advantages:

  • City crews can respond to storms pro-actively by beginning treatment in advance of the storm
  • Anti-icing enables a quicker return to improved road conditions resulting in fewer accidents and delays
  • Treated salt doesn’t bounce off the roadway so material is more effectively used
  • If the storm is delayed, some residual salt remains on the road ready to begin work when precipitation begins
  • Crews can efficiently cover more territory because a truckload of salt will last longer than a traditional truckload of sand-salt mix
  • The streets and edges of the road will not be brown with sand after a snow storm has ended.

Reduction of Sand Use

In Connecticut, snow storms have traditionally been fought by applying a mixture of three parts sand to one part salt. Salt melts snow and ice. Sand does not. Sand can increase friction, thereby providing better traction and control of vehicles. For sand to actually improve traction, however, it must remain between the tire and the ice. It does no good when it is buried in snow. Vehicle traffic will work sand into fresh snow and render it useless to improve traction. Research on friction on pavements treated with sand shows that there is little benefit when traffic is present. When is the most effective time to use sand? During very low temperatures (below 5°F) where salt is ineffective or during freezing rain conditions. The City no longer uses sand during the majority of its snow removal operations. The City will continue to have sand available for use when conditions specifically warrant its use.

Benefits of Reducing Sand Use

  • Elimination of sand from entering our streams and waterways
  • Reduction in Spring clean up time both for property owners and the City
  • Reduction in air pollution from blowing sand particulates
  • Buildings and homes are cleaner because less sand and mud is tracked in from streets and municipal parking lots
  • Reduction in windshield damage and chipped paint

Driveway Clearing Tips

The following suggestions are intended to make your driveway snow removal easier and safer:

  • If possible, wait until the road has been completely plowed to the curb before shoveling the last 5-10 feet of your driveway. This way less snow from the road will end up in your driveway. It takes several hours after a typical storm has ended for the City to completely clear snow from the road to the curb. It is best to place snow on the far side of your driveway, away from the direction the plow is traveling. In most cases, this means placing the snow on the right side of your driveway as you face    the road. This way the plow will carry the snow away from your driveway, rather than back into it.
  • Do not shovel, blow, or plow snow from your driveway into or across the road. It is a violation of City Ordinances to push snow into the street and you may be held liable if this snow causes an accident. Remember, you are also responsible for the actions of your contractor!
  • Do not allow children to play on snow banks along the side of the road. The City may need to push back snow banks days after a storm to create room for the next snow event.

Other Snow Removal responsibilities of the Public Works Department

In addition to the responsibility of clearing city streets, Public Works is also responsible for snow removal around downtown area trash receptacles, bus shelters, and downtown area snow banks once their size exceeds the storage capacity of the sidewalk snow shelf.

Snow Removal by Other City Departments

Whereas Public Works is responsible for snow removal, the department relies on other city departments for snow removal as relates to sidewalks, parking lots, public garage entrances, meters, fire hydrants, tow lots and other city properties.

Emergencies

Residents are advised to call 911 in the event of an emergency. If there is a problem with roadway access for Police or emergency vehicles, Public Works’ Command Center is contacted to provide escort plowing. 

Free Winter (Treated) Sand

Free Winter (Treated) Sand is available at the following locations for residents only. (No commercial vendors. 10 gallon limit)

  • Eastwick Court - in park area
  • Linden Street - Parking lot at NW corner of Wildwood Street
  • Martha Hart Park - Parking lot off Corbin Avenue     
  • McClintock Street - Park area between Commonwealth Avenue and Eddy Glover Blvd.
  • Osgood Avenue - Parking lot in Osgood ark
  • Rocky Hill Avenue - NE corner of Ellis Street     
  • Stanley Street - A.W. Stanley parking lot opposite Huber Street
  • Washington Park - Parking lot opposite Gold Street
  • Willow Brook Park - Parking area near old tennis courts off South Main St.

Winter Driving Checklist & Tips

  • Keep good, all-season tires on your car.
  • Keep a shovel and some sand in your trunk.
  • Clean your vehicle of all snow and ice, including the roof.
  • Allow extra time to reach your destination. During storms, travel only when absolutely necessary.
  • Keep a safe distance from plow trucks and other vehicles.

Questions and Concerns during Snow and Ice Storms

Questions and Concerns during Snow and Ice Storms should be directed to the City Public Works at (860) 826-3480. 

 

 

 

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