The Orangetown Highway Department is dedicated to
providing safe, courteous, dependable and economical service,
wherever and whenever possible for all our residents.
Dear Orangetown Resident:
As you see from the picture of your Highway Department personnel, providing safe roads for all Orangetown residents requires a team effort. We have a great team made up of men and women that are ready, willing and able to work long and hard to combat old man winter.
The Highway Department’s efforts and success would not be possible without the support of the Orangetown Town Board. Again this year the Supervisor and Council have provided the funds necessary to purchase and maintain the equipment and materials necessary to get the job done. They should be congratulated for their foresight and their interest in public safety.
You, the Orangetown taxpayer and resident, are a very important part to a successful snow and ice control campaign. Your understanding and cooperation are an integral part of our plan. To help inform you regarding our methods and give you a few helpful hints, we have compiled the following text.
Again, I would like to stress this is a team effort and I would like to thank all of the Highway Department employees, the Town Board, the Police Department, the Volunteer Fire Departments and Ambulance Corps, the Parks Department, the Sewer Department and all of the residents of the community for working together to provide a safe and healthy environment in the Town of Orangetown.
Before the Snow Falls
Beginning as early as September, the Orangetown Highway Department begins preparing for the winter months ahead by reviewing snow removal routes and servicing equipment. Preparation and servicing of equipment for the upcoming winter continues through November while Highway Department crews expedite the pickup of loose leaves from the residential areas of the Town. November is an extremely critical time, as the equipment used for snow removal operations is used for the removal of loose leaves, and our focus can change at very short notice.
The Highway Department’s salt storage facility is stockpiled with 3,000 tons of salt while 2,500 gallons of enviro-brine is contained in one storage tank and 22,500 gallons of liquid salt brine is contained in six storage tanks. In order to be properly prepared for inclement weather during the snow season, the Highway Department continually monitors daily weather conditions via satellite and receives daily weather reports from local weather sources and the National Weather Service.
Monitoring weather reports assists the Highway Department utilize the state of the art process of applying a salt brine to pre-wet the road surface in anticipation of a snow storm. This salt brine is the mixture of water with granular sodium chloride. Salt brine jump starts the melting process, thus speeding up the melting action.
When the Snowfall Starts
An important step in dealing with snowfall is street salting. Top priority is given to the Town’s main roads. Those roads are routes that the Town has found to have the heaviest year-round traffic and usually are major arteries running north/south or east/west that have double yellow centerlines.
The snow removal process starts when frozen precipitation begins falling. Operations initiate with the application of rock salt and liquid chloride to the roads and continue until the streets are clear or material application is no longer effective due to the depth of the snow.
When the Snowfall Continues
When two or three inches of snow have accumulated and more is expected, snow is more economically removed by plowing rather than salting. All public roads, main thoroughfares and residential streets will be plowed by Highway Department personnel. Our first responsibility is to open the main roads. These arterials are the key to providing safe access for emergency vehicles as well as maintaining the steady flow of traffic since most residents live within a few blocks of such a route. The plows then continue to all streets on the route to “open up” each one in sequence. If the storm continues in intensity, the trucks remain in that same pattern until the storm abates. At that time, the trucks begin to “widen out” all roads by pushing the accumulated snow back to the curb line and clearing intersections.
Remember, trained crews work around the clock during these storms to keep the roads open and passable. If you wish to report a hazardous condition, call the Highway Department at 359-6500. If there is a medical emergency, call the dial 911 or contact the Orangetown Police Department at 359-3700.
After the Storm is Over
Crews continue to monitor all roads for icy spots and areas where winds redeposit the snow in traffic lanes. Usually an application of salt and/or sand is applied to all streets so the riding surface remains driveable. If the accumulation is particularly heavy, the Town removes the snow from the business districts in Pearl River, Blauvelt, Tappan, and Sparkill. Crews are also dispatched to clear catch basins so that melting snow can run off.
You may wish to avoid a potential problem and also be of assistance to your neighbors by cleaning off a catch basin or shoveling out a nearby fire hydrant. Sand barrels placed at selected hills and intersections are refilled after every storm. As soon as practicable after the storms, twenty-five (25) bus shelters and fifteen (15) miles of safety sidewalks are sanded or plowed to allow for pedestrian traffic. Please avoid creating a hazard by discarding snow from your driveway or sidewalk into the roadway. Do not block sidewalks. For those residents who have a snow plowing contractor, advise them not to plow your snow into the road or onto sidewalks opposite your driveway.
Parking and Travel Regulations
There is no overnight parking in Orangetown from November 15th through April 15th of each year. Vehicles parked illegally or abandoned on roads are subject to towing at the owner’s expense as well as being ticketed by the Police Department.
The Town has adopted a “Snow Emergency” policy. This law requires that at times when snow accumulations reach more than 2 inches, no vehicles may be parked on any street designated as a “Snow Emergency Route” no matter what time of day or night.
As soon as you are aware that bad weather is on the way, make sure your vehicle is off the street. This protects your car from being splashed with slush, becoming plowed in, or being hit by passing vehicles. Best of all, the snowplow has space to plow the snow.
Questions & Answers
1. Why does the Highway Department provide snow and ice control?
To keep roadways open and safe for emergency response by the Police, Fire and Ambulance services and to provide access to home, work, school and mobility to all Orangetown residents.
2. Why does the Highway Department have to plow from curb to curb?
To keep the streets clean of snow and ice, and allow melting snow to reach catch basins.
3. Why should I not throw snow back into the street?
Snow thrown back onto the roadway may freeze causing hazardous road conditions. You may cause injury to family, friends or neighbors.
4. I cannot shovel my driveway because I am elderly or disabled, what should I do?
Make arrangements with a family member, friend, and neighbor or hire a contractor to do this for you.
5. My car was towed, where is it?
Call the Orangetown Police Department at 359-3700.
6. Who can I call if I have a question regarding the Town’s snow removal service?
Call the Orangetown Highway Department 359-6500
7. I’d like to make a suggestion on snow removal: Where should I send it?
Send suggestions to the Orangetown Highway Department, 119 Route 303, Orangeburg, New York or FAX to 359-6062
Be Prepared, Be Aware and Be Patient
Before it snows, remember last years problems and try to tackle them in advance. If you do your own snow removal, have your tools and supplies handy. Shovels, snow blowers, calcium chloride, rock salt and sand should be ready before the season begins. If you hire someone to do your snow removal, make those arrangements early. It can be difficult to find someone in the middle of a storm.
Make arrangements to have adequate food supplies on hand. Keep flashlights, a battery powered radio and emergency equipment on hand in case of disruption in the power supply.
Area news media will announce approaching storms and will disseminate information on school closings and meeting cancellations. They will also note road closings or re-routings.
Please do not go out during or immediately after a snowstorm unless it is truly necessary. Crews have many hours of hard work to complete their snow clearing operations. Less traffic on the road means that we will be able to clear the roads more quickly and completely. Under the best of conditions, it will take us at least 8 hours from the time it stops snowing completely, to complete our snow removal operations.
Remember, whether it is your driveway for which you are responsible or the 200 miles of roads for which we are responsible, snow removal is an arduous and time consuming task. Please understand that the Highway Department cannot shovel ridges or windrows from your driveway entrance, nor can we plow private property.
Tips & Suggestions
- When shoveling out the mouth of your driveway, throw it to the right of your driveway as you face the street or “downstream”. Throwing or plowing snow in the road can create a patch of snow and ice that freezes over and causes a hazardous condition. Besides, it will only be re-deposited when the plow comes around again
- If at all possible, finish clearing your driveway entrance after the final widening pass has been completed.
- Helpful Hint: Leave a strip of snow at the edge of your driveway, this will block some of the snow from entering your driveway when the plow widens the roadway. The final widening pass is usually completed approximately 8 to 10 hours after the snow stops completely. This, of course, depends on the severity of the storm.
- Plan alternate ways and extra time to travel to main routes and to your place of employment.
- Remember! Slow down, brake slowly and allow plenty of room between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
- During times of reduced visibility, watch for pedestrians, bicycles and disabled vehicles.
- Maintain your vehicle properly. Equip your car with snow tires or chains and keep your windshield, headlights and taillights clean at all times.
Customer Satisfaction Through Responsible Management Of Resources
The Town of Orangetown Highway System consists of 143 miles of road, servicing 10,300 residential units and continues to grow with the dedication of new subdivision streets every year. Since 2003, we have added 15 streets, totaling 2.5 miles, servicing 150 added residential units. Presently, we have .23 miles of subdivision road mileage with 33 residential units in various stages of completion.
Additional plans for developing roads and residential units are being presented to the Planning Board on a regular basis. As the roads and residential units increase, so does the need to maintain the regularly scheduled replacement of our equipment.
Our ten year equipment replacement program requires an investment in Highway and Green Waste removal equipment. Although this is a substantial investment, if we fail to meet our goal for equipment replacement, we risk falling behind with regular scheduled services, incur more repair costs and reduce the effective and proper utilization of our workforce. Adhering to the equipment replacement program minimizes the overall financial impact on our taxpayers. The task of maintaining the level of service you require is greatly affected by the availability of equipment used to perform these services.
We would like to thank you for your continued support. Rest assured we will continue to strive to meet the needs of our customers.
Storm Drains provide routes for rain water and snow melt to flow away from our streets and prevent flooding and potential ice conditions. Help us keep our storm drain clean. Do not place brush, leaves or snow on the road pavement as these materials will add pollution to our waters, and block drains and cause flooding and ice conditions.