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We appreciate constructive feedback, as it allows us to evaluate and improve upon what we do. We can assure our residents that safety is of the utmost importance to the Department of Public Works and Mayor Gattinelli's Administration. We have a strategic plan in place for extreme weather events. While each storm presents a unique challenge, public safety is the top priority of the Township’s snow and ice policy. We are committed to providing residents and visitors a safe travel experience and work until all roads within the Township are passable. Passable does not mean bare pavement, it means that a road can be traveled with caution. Side roads with only 1-2 inches of snow on them would be considered passable, although we would advise caution and limited traveling, especially as snow continues to accumulate. Once we reach snow totals in the 3-5 inch range, we change our approach to a full plow operation. In those circumstances we would bring in outside contractors and plow every Municipality-maintained street in town.
We have a list of 107 main roads that we salt and/or plow at the onset of every storm. In order for salt to be effective, there needs to be a high volume of traffic on the roadway, therefore we do not salt every street in town. Secondary roads do not receive enough traffic for salt to melt the snow on them. Those 107 roads are strategically chosen so that once completed, residents have to travel only one mile or less to reach a treated surface. We have personnel working around the clock to ensure proper treatment and thorough plowing, when necessary. We also ask that as snow is falling, to please stay off the roads or keep travel to a minimum. Also, please move cars to driveways and off the streets to allow for plowing curb to curb. Please keep in mind that we have 170 miles of roads to plow and approximately 200 courts. Our goal is that all streets are normally plowed within 14-24 hours.
Many times we take into account the weather conditions, which can either work for or against us. In the case temperatures are expected to go well above freezing, we know we cannot salt the roads faster than the snow will melt. It takes approximately 40 hours to plow every street in town without the assistance of outside contractors. With that in mind, if we are aware roads will clear themselves faster than we can clean them up, we have to take into consideration the financial responsibility of spreading salt, especially if we know it will melt on their own within a few hours, faster than we can plow/salt on our own. If temperatures stay below freezing, we change our approach. When temperatures stay below 20 degrees, even with salt, please understand that conditions may still be icy so we recommend to limit travel and navigate with caution. When temperatures are extremely low, in the single digits as we experienced recently, melting still takes longer even when there is salt on the ground. We do our best to clear roads and our crews work around the clock to make sure conditions are safe for our residents. Thank you for your continued cooperation, patience and understanding as we do our absolute best to provide the services that Washington Township residents expect and deserve.
In regards to concerns about the conditions of specific roads, please understand that Egg Harbor Road, Blackwood-Barnsboro Road, Berlin Crosskeys Road, Chapel Heights Road, Fish Pond Road, Fries Mill Road, Ganttown Road, Glassboro-Crosskeys Road, Greentree Road, Hurffville-Crosskeys Road, Hurffville Grenloch Road, Pitman Downer Road, Tuckahoe Road and Woodbury-Turnersville Road are all County roads maintained by the Gloucester County Road Department. Washington Township has no jurisdiction over the care or maintenance of those roads. Delsea Drive, Route 42, the Crosskeys Bypass and Route 168 are under the care of the State of New Jersey and we have no control over their maintenance.
We hope this answers any concerns you may have. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Public Works Department or the Mayor's Office at 856-589-0520. Thank you for your constructive feedback and taking an active interest in your community.