To make sure the approximately 6,000 catch basins throughout town are clear to accept water, and to maintain the travel width of the street. In a normal winter, the snow berms at the side of the street can gradually reduce the travel width of the street.
This usually happens for 2 reasons: 1) A smaller truck with a smaller plow is used and it cannot move larger amounts of snow completely off the side of the street, or 2) Property owners or their landscapers place snow in the street. Streets that are less than 2 travel lanes wide will be widened after the storm as crews and equipment are available. In some cases this may result in some snow being cast back onto already cleared sidewalks and driveways or placed back onto grassed areas.
Plowing cul-de-sacs is one the most challenging operations during a snow storm. Most properties on cul-de-sacs have frontages which are narrower than lots on a straight street. Therefore, snow must be pushed into a smaller space. Cul-de-sacs without islands contain even more area which needs to be plowed and, as a result, even more snow has to be moved to the side.
This is not done intentionally. Snow cast onto sidewalks and into driveways is an unfortunate byproduct of a very necessary service we provide. When we plow a street we are simply moving the snow that is in the street off to the side of the street. The greater the amount of snow, the more snow that is deposited on the side. A normal cast from the plow is up 8 feet. Sidewalks and driveways are necessarily located in that cast zone
No. Property owner's have up to 12 hours after the storm ends or after sunrise, whichever is later, to clear their sidewalks. Please wait until the street is completely cleared, which may take up to 8 hours, before clearing your sidewalk or driveway.
The police are notified and may issue a ticket for the Town Ordinance violation. Currently the fine is $79 and each day the violation continues is a separate offense. If the walk is still not cleared, another ticket is issued and the DPW is notified. The DPW issues a letter directing the property owner to clear the sidewalk. If the property still fails to clear the walk, the DPW will clear the walk on overtime and invoice the property. That charge will be in addition to any fines which may have been imposed.
Placing refuse and recycling barrels in any portion of the roadway is a violation of Town Ordinance. Barrels placed in the road are a safety issue for traffic by forcing collection vehicles are into the travel lane portion of the road to collect instead of traveling the curb line for collection. Barrels in the road do not allow snow plow vehicles to widen roads to their fullest extent for safe passage of traffic, school buses and emergency vehicles. Automated collection vehicles barrel lift arms can reach up to ten feet from the edge of the road. Barrels should be placed in your driveway opening or an area cleared of snow on the green belt between the sidewalk and street. Barrels that are placed in the roadway will be put back off the roadway by the collection vehicle after they are emptied. Barrels will be placed wherever the collection vehicle operator can place them without interfering with pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
We plow the streets curb to curb, or as close as we can get. Whatever snow is left in front of mail boxes is the responsibility of the property owner to remove or at least make the mail box accessible to the mail carrier. If we made a mistake and left an unreasonable amount of snow on the edge of the street we will return and cut back as much as we can.
We will only repair a mail box if our plow physically strikes the mail box. We will not repair a mail box if the damage is caused by the cast from the plow. People with street-side mail boxes are encouraged to follow United States Postal Services guidelines regarding the erection of the posts for sturdiness and the height of the bottom of the mailbox (approximately 4' to allow the plow to sweep beneath the mail box).
The Fire Department is responsible for fire hydrants except those which are part of private fire suppression systems (typically in commercial developments), but any assistance by abutting property owners would help and be appreciated.
Contact the DPW by telephone, mail or e-mail. Describe the damage you believe we caused, the location on your property and when you believe it occurred. We will investigate and if we determine we are responsible we will place it on a list to be repaired. If we believe we are responsible we will let you know.
As soon as the weather allows us, usually in the Spring. Lawn damage is repaired first followed by curbs and driveway aprons. With all repairs, each year we alternate starting at one end of town or the other and move systematically through the town.
The vehicle is first ticketed and then it is towed by the Town's towing contractor to a central location. The vehicle owner is responsible for paying all charges associated which may include, but not be limited to: 1) The ticket, 2) The tow and mileage charges, and 3) Any storage charges.
Any vehicle parked on the street during a parking ban is subject to being ticketed by the Police Department. Any vehicle parked on the street during the parking ban will be towed if it hinders the plowing operation at any time, or it is parked on the street during the final clean up.
The amount of snow that ends up on the side of the street is a function of the amount of snowfall. The greater the snowfall the greater the amount at the side of the street. For example, if 18" of snow pushed straight to the side of the street from the center line of a 28' wide street will most likely create a 6' high berm.
Most residential streets receive a center pass (traffic permitting) and then 2 gutter passes. Each pass pushes the snow to one side or the other. That means one side is getting 2/3's of the snow in the street with each set of passes from the plow. Which side of the street receives the most snow will vary with the route taken by the plow driver (s) during a given storm. Only the snow that is in the street is cast to the side. Therefore, if your neighbor or their landscaper places snow from their sidewalk or driveway in the street up stream of your property, that additional snow will end up on your sidewalk or in your driveway. For that reason, among others, we prohibit anyone from placing snow in the street.
This generally becomes an issue when we plow during the day season. During the night season the majority of people don't know when their street was plowed. Main streets and areas around schools (when they are in session) are plowed first and then residential streets. The reasons are: 1) The main streets carry the most traffic volume, and 2) We want the ingress to and egress from the schools to be as safe as possible. It takes us up to 8 hours to completely clear a snow plow route. Unfortunately, someone on that route will be first and someone will be last.
The goal is to get the snow off the street. Drivers are directed to drive as fast as necessary to accomplish that task. The speed of the truck is directly related to any combination of the following factors: 1) The volume of snow on the street, 2) The consistency of the snow, and 3) The height of the berms on the side of the street. The plow truck must travel faster to throw heavier and/or deeper snow over higher berms.
If the intersection is not signalized 24/7 and the piles cause a line of sight problem, the DPW will remove the snow to the extent the line of sight problem is eliminated. Following large snow storms, this may take some time and depend upon reports received from motorists to alert us to a particular problem intersection. Otherwise it is the responsibility of the property owner to remove the snow if it is covering a sidewalk.
West Hartford’s refuse is delivered to, Covanta Industries located in Bristol CT, a trash to energy plant. Refuse is fed into combustion chambers. The heat generated boils water to run turbines generating electricity. Only ash residue from the combustion chambers and a small percentage of bulk waste collected curbside are land filled in CT DEEP approved and environmentally engineered landfills. All metal and white good appliances collected curbside are recycled by Paine’s. Any appliance containing Chlorofluorocarbon’s or CFC’s, a gas believed to be ozone depleting, are properly evacuated before being recycled.
The following material may be disposed of upon issuance of a Full Use Annual Permit: LEAVES, BRANCHES & BRUSH UP TO 6" IN DIAMETER, SCRAP METAL, USED MOTOR OIL IN SEALED CONTAINERS , ANTIFREEZE IN SEALED CONTAINERS, AUTOMOTIVE BATTERIES, AND SINGLE-STREAM RECYCLABLE ITEMS.
The following material may be disposed of upon issuance of a Limited Use Recycling Permit: SCRAP METAL, USED MOTOR OIL IN SEALED CONTAINERS, ANTIFREEZE IN SEALED CONTAINERS, AUTOMOTIVE BATTERIES, AND SINGLE-STREAM RECYCLABLE ITEMS.
Lost or stolen barrels are the responsiblity of the property owner. Each barrel is inventoried to the address it was delivered to, and must remain at the property where they were issued.
50 South Main StreetWest Hartford, CT 06107 Website: https://www.WestHartfordCT.gov P. 860-561-7500 | F. 860-561-7400 | H. M-F, 8:30A-4:30P Assessment, Registrars, Tax, and Town Clerk have alternate hours.