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Posted on: December 7, 2018

Suffolk Department of Public Works Prepares for Winter Weather Season

The City of Suffolk would like to remind our citizens that we are  committed to providing the traveling public with the safest driving surface possible during adverse weather conditions. The Suffolk Public Works Department Roadway Division has made necessary preparations for the 2018-2019 Winter Season and staff stand at the ready given conditions that necessitate a timely response.


The Roadway Division maintains an inventory of material and equipment for both before and post storm conditions. Items in the current inventory for the 2018-2019 Winter Season include:

  • 26 Truck/Spreader/Plow Combos
  • 5 Brine Distributors/Dump Trucks
  • 4 Loaders
  • 5 Backhoes
  • 2500 tons of Salt
  • 3100 tons of Sand

The Department’s first priority is to make passable approximately 600 lane-miles of primary roads and additional lane-miles of priority streets that access hospitals, fire stations and police stations. Most neighborhood streets are not cleared because parked vehicles and other safety considerations make snow removal from these streets impractical. Problematic main roadways into and out of some neighborhoods will be treated and/or plowed as Supervisors investigate if the equipment can safely work in such areas. Residents can view an interactive map of the priority routes on the City’s website: Online Map.


City crews assess each snow/ice event for the best possible treatment plan. Depending upon conditions, roadways may be pre-treated in the hours before the onset of the winter event. This pre-treatment may be a wet salt solution (brine) or a dry mixture of sand and salt (abrasive). Pre-treatment can be used to help reduce icy conditions but may not be the only required treatment.


When it becomes necessary to operate snow plows, residents can assist in the efficiency of snow removal by doing the following:

  • Avoid travel unless absolutely necessary; if you must travel, please drive cautiously and slowly, removing all snow and ice from the whole vehicle before driving
  • Leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles
  • Stay back and avoid passing snow plows; snow or abrasive can come from the plow while operating
  • Avoid parking on streets when snow or ice is predicted
  • Shovel sidewalks as soon as possible after storm; however, avoid shoveling snow from driveways or sidewalks into the roadway
  • Clear snow around fire hydrants; firefighters will be able to respond more quickly in the event of an emergency

If travel is absolutely necessary during severe conditions: 

  • Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter and is in safe driving condition. Keep an emergency kit in your car. Include items such as jumper cables, blankets, first aid kit, water, non-perishable food, cat litter or sand, shovel, flash light and batteries, ice scraper and cell phone charger.
  • Let someone know where you are going and what route you’re taking.
  • Remove all snow from your vehicle before driving.
  • Drive with caution – Reduce your speed and increase following distances.
  • Don’t crowd snow plows or emergency vehicles – give emergency crews plenty of room to work.


To report roadway issues, citizens can contact Public Works at 757-514-7600.

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