Why are the plows still out if there's no snow on the road? Are workers trying to collect overtime?

Township crews are only mobilized at such time as they are needed for snow or ice removal on Township roads, and they are released as soon as road conditions allow. No effort is made to extend unnecessary or gratuitous overtime to employees. Public Works forces are mobilized to deal with real road hazards, as typically witnessed by on-duty Police Officers or other emergency services personnel and passed on to the Communication Center for notification of cognizant Public Works personnel.

There are two major explanations for continued plowing after the snow has ended.

  • First, certain events (e.g., sleet) leave a hazardous frozen coating that is not apparent to the eye, especially from a distance. In such cases, if the temperature is expected to drop or remain below freezing, it is essential to scrape loose coatings of slush or ice off the roads to avoid long-term hazards. It may not appear that there is anything to plow, but drivers would not drop their plows unnecessarily.
  • Second, drivers may be pushing back snow to the curbline. Though the driving lanes may be open, the snow and slush must be pushed back as far as possible to keep drainage structures open, to prevent follow-up hazards due to freeze-up, and to prepare for any future storm event. This is usually done at the very end of the snow removal effort, sometimes several hours after the snow has quit falling. 

It may be helpful to know that for an average winter weather event involving overtime, Forks Township Public Works forces provide snow/ice removal at a cost of less than $50 per mile of road, which includes all efforts through the course of the storm. This compares very favorably with an average cost of about $50 - $75 for private contractor driveway plowing, which typically amounts to one pass in and one out in thirty minutes or less.

Show All Answers

1. If the Township knew the storm was coming, why wasn't more done to prepare and clear the roads earlier?
2. Who is responsible to clear snow and ice on the State roads?
3. Why are Forks Township roads in bad shape compared to other Townships?
4. There are always problems on my street (last one plowed, not yet plowed, plowed hours ago, etc.). Why don’t you clear it up sooner and keep it clear?
5. Why do the plow trucks have to drive so fast?
6. Why are the plows still out if there's no snow on the road? Are workers trying to collect overtime?
7. Why did the plow truck come through my road so many times?
8. Why was there was still ice and snow on the road after you got done plowing?
9. Why use road salt?
10. Why is the driver putting down too much/not enough salt?
11. Why do you have to plow curb to curb?
12. I already finished shoveling my driveway, and that plow truck came by again and plowed me in! Why is snow piled in my driveway? Will the Township remove the snow from the end of my driveway?
13. I live on a cul-de-sac and I get more snow in my driveway and on my property than anywhere else in town. Why?
14. Can I pay the Township to clear my driveway or sidewalk?
15. Who is responsible for clearing in front of my mailbox?
16. The large piles of snow at the corners of my street are so high I can't see oncoming traffic. Who is responsible for removing the snow?
17. The catch basin on my street is covered with snow. Who is responsible to clear it?
18. My street is so narrow that 2 cars cannot pass side by side. What will be done?
19. How do I report that the plow truck knocked over my mailbox and what will be done about it?
20. The plow damaged my property, home, or driveway. How do I report this and what will be done about it?
21. My basketball hoop [or other object at my property] was damaged by the plow. What will be done about it?
22. How do I report plow damage?
23. Will my garbage be collected during bad weather?
24. What can I do to help?