The Roadway Division of Public Works is responsible for clearing snow and ice from Suffolk public streets. The primary purpose of snow removal is to clear snow for emergency vehicles, hospital access, and service vehicles such as school buses, public transit buses and refuse trucks.
With safety and emergency accessibility being our primary concerns, first priority is given to all primary or main roadways, followed by secondary arterials and connectors. Neighborhood streets are cleared last; and due to the size of the equipment, configuration of neighborhood streets and the presence of cars parked on the street, may not be accessible by city plows.
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 pretreatment may be a wet salt solution (brine) or a dry mixture of sand and salt (abrasive). Pretreatment 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