The City of Nashua's Street Department is committed to keeping all roads within the city safe and navigable before, during, and after every winter event. Understandably, all winter events are different and bare-pavement conditions cannot be achieved until the storm is over. Winter weather is also difficult to forecast due to numerous variables including, but not limited to, air temperature, wind, and precipitation rate. The department utilizes various forecasting services, along with road temperature sensor technology, to create a plan for the safest and most effective snow plowing operation.
An operation will begin with the forecasting of snow or inclement weather. The Street Department will send as many as 20 sand/salt trucks out to pre-treat the primary roads in an effort to keep road conditions safe. Primary streets are considered to be the larger, main roads that are used to travel in and out of the city, that funnel traffic through commercial areas, school areas, hills, and any other areas that serve as access to hospitals and the airport.
Two Inches Accumulated
Once accumulations have reached two inches or more, the city will send over 40 pieces of equipment, plus more than 20 hired pieces of equipment to keep the 700+ lane miles (primary and secondary) of Nashua plowed and passable. There are 41 plow routes that divide the 30 square miles of Nashua. Once plowing is complete, roads will be treated with a sand/salt mix to in an effort to prevent icing or slippery conditions.
Obstacles With Snow Plowing
While the city maintains a strategy, it cannot guarantee results simply due to the uncertainty that each storm presents. Snow accumulations of an inch per hour are extremely difficult to keep up with. Timing of the storm in unison with traffic rush hours, holidays, and daytime hours create additional tactical problems. Bare pavement conditions are the intent of every operation, but only realistic towards the end of each storm.
The city will plow all areas curb-to-curb in order to maintain adequate road width for future storms. Plowing is performed as allowed by road geometry with the idea of dispersing equal amounts of snow to either side of a road. As a result, snow will almost certainly end up in driveways and may require homeowners clearing their driveways multiple times. Snow should be removed in a manner that does not put it back into the street. According to the following ordinances, (§ 285 - 28 & § 1-12), there is a fine of up to $1,000 for this offense. As always, the City and the Division of Public works appreciates the patience, understanding, and cooperation of its citizens during this process.