The primary mission of the Public Works Department throughout the winter is to maintain safe and passable roadways.
Public Works utilizes a brining system to apply a salt solution to the roadways up to 72 hours before a predicted freezing rain or snow storm. Brine prevents freezing rain and snow from bonding to the pavement and helps delay the accumulation of snow and ice on the pavement, keeping roadways safer. Brine is a cost-saving, proactive approach to treating ice build up on our roadways. Once snow begins to accumulate, the Public Works Department begins clearing and plowing the streets.
Residents often ask, why are certain roads cleared before others? The first priority is to keep main roads open and passable to allow emergency vehicles, school buses and other first responders access to all parts of the Township. As soon as all major roadways are clear, secondary roads in residential areas that are "feeder" roads to the main roadways are cleared, followed by all other residential areas. Snow on state roads and highways are cleared by PennDOT. Click here to see a list of state roads in Middletown maintained by PennDOT.
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Winter Snow Removal:
What do I do when snow starts to fall?
Vehicles are to be moved from the streets one hour after the snow starts to fall until 12 hours after the snow has ended. Vehicle owners may be fined if vehicles are not removed from the streets. Sidewalks are to be cleared within 24 hours after a snowfall.
Why do the plows push the snow into my driveway? Who is responsible for clearing it?
Snow plows are angled to the right for plowing from the centerline of the street to the curb. For this reason a certain amount of snow will be deposited at the end of your driveway. Snow placed in driveways or sidewalks by Township plows is the property owner’s responsibility to remove.
What do I do if a snow plow damages my mailbox?
Should your mailbox get struck by a Township plow, contact the Public Works Department within 48 hours after the snow event. Make sure to include your address and contact information. Click here to download the Township's mailbox policy.
Why is the plow operator driving so fast, considering the road conditions?
Many times it seems as if the plow operator is driving too fast for road conditions. Plow operators drive at safe and legal speeds, however, when snow is deep and wet, it is heavy and needs to be “rolled” in order to remove it from the roadway. A sufficient speed needs to be maintained by the plow operator to do this and clear the street.
What is a safe distance to follow behind a snow plow?
A safe following distance behind a plow is a minimum of 200 feet. At that distance, you are clear of the driver’s blind spot so he can see you, and leaves you with time to safely slow should the plow have to stop suddenly in front of you. It also reduces the likelihood of damage to your vehicle from loose or flying gravel or salt being spread by the truck.
Remember not to deposit snow from sidewalks and driveways into the roadway, whether by shovel or snow blower. You could be subject to a fine. Our Public Works Department thanks you for your patience and cooperation as they work hard to keep your streets clear and safe.