Snow Removal Policy

The Bourne Department of Public Works is ready for the inevitable snow and ice that we will receive this winter.  The DPW will continue to carry out a complete snow removal and ice control program on all streets and highways within the Town of Bourne. The DPW hopes the following information on how the Bourne's winter road maintenance program works will assist the residents

When the Snowfall Starts
An important step in dealing with snowfall is street and roadway salting and sanding, as soon as snowfall begins.
This prevents the snow from becoming compacted and frozen to the road surface. Top priority is given to the Town's main roads. Early application of salt and mixture can actually reduce the total material required as well as keeping the roads in better condition.

When the Snowfall Continues
When two to three inches of snow have accumulated, the plowing of the snow from the roadway begins. Our first responsibility is to keep the main roads open. These road are the key to maintaining a steady flow of traffic, since most residents live within a few hundred yards or so from these roads.

The plows then continue to plow all streets on the route to "open up" each one in sequence.  If the storm continues in intensity, the plow trucks remain in that same pattern until the storm abates.   When that condition occurs, the trucks then begin to "widen out" all roads pushing the accumulated snow back to the curb line and clearing the intersections. Remember,  if possible, wait until the roadway has been plowed, and "widened out", before clearing out the end of your driveway.  There is no practical way to plow the road without depositing the snow into your driveway.  These men and women who operate the plow trucks are well trained and dedicated to working round the clock during such storms, to keep the roads open and passable. 

Don't be misled by plow trucks riding with their plows up.  They may be going in for fuel, repairs, heading for another area or working for someone besides the Town.

To help reduce the possibility of a broken mailbox post, Bourne DPW plow operators are urged to take precautions to avoid hitting mailboxes.   However, experience has shown that with reduced visibility during a storm,  it is sometimes not possible for a driver to see a mailbox in time to avoid striking it. Most times however, mailboxes are broken by wet heavy snow, which "curls" off the plow and is cast onto the shoulder. Any installation within the road right-of-way, including a mailbox, is placed there at the owner's risk.  Therefore, owners are encouraged to put mailboxes at the maximum usable distance from the roadway pavement. A distance of three to four feet is recommended.

After the Storm is Over
Crews continue to monitor all roads for icy spots and drifting snow. Usually an application of sand and salt is applied to all streets and roads so the riding surface remains driveable.  As soon as possible, usually within 24 hours following a snowstorm, we remove the snow from sidewalks.

How you can help
Make certain your vehicle is ready for winter driving.

Reduce your speed. This is the #1 cause of winter accidents. People have actually tried to pass a sander or plow on may occasions.

Do not drive in winter storms unless absolutely necessary and please park well off of the road, and please do not park your car with the nose sticking out of the driveway.

Before your final driveway cleanup check the street. If the street is clean and full width, you are safe.  If not, the plow truck will be back to fill you in. Please understand that the Town cannot shovel or plow out the end of your driveway, nor can the Town crews plow private property, and it is a violation of State Law to push or blow snow across a street or road or onto a sidewalk.

If there is catch basin in front of your house, you can help us by making sure it is kept clear of snow. If there is a fire hydrant, clear it if you can or flag it so the Fire Department can locate it.

Finally, please be patient. Whether it is your driveway for which you are responsible or the many miles of roads that the Town is responsible for, snow removal is an arduous and time consuming  job.  Your DPW workers and our hired plows do not get a shift change.  If a storm is of long duration, the workers continue around the clock until the job is done.  We strive for the safest streets and roadways at a reasonable cost and in the shortest period of time.

The Bourne DPW thanks you for your cooperation and support.