Winter storm emergencies are just that—emergencies. The Township of Upper St. Clair’s administrative staff, Police Department, and Public Works Department are on call 24 hours a day to help residents and businesses by making the streets safe.
During the winter season, Township residents are asked to be patient and understanding. To help the Police and Public Works Department during storms, the Township asks the cooperation of residents in the following areas:
1. Keep calls concerning snow removal to a minimum. Public Works and Police phone lines need to be kept open for emergency calls only during storm situations. The Township is as eager as you to have the streets cleared quickly. Major roads such as Route 19, Boyce Road, McLaughlin Run Road, Lesnett Road, McMillan Road, Fort Couch Road, and Mayview Road are plowed first as a matter of public safety and for emergency vehicles.
2. Do not shovel or plow snow back into the streets. This is a violation of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code and creates additional traffic safety problems.
3. When streets are plowed, snow will be pushed in front of driveways. Unfortunately, there is no other place for the snow to go.
4. The Public Works Department is not permitted to assist residents by clearing driveways, sidewalks, or paths to mailboxes. Public Works employees work as many hours as necessary to make streets, inlets, cul-de-sacs, sidewalks, and parking lots safe for all vehicles and pedestrians.
5. Under emergency situations, there may be delays or cancellations of garbage collection and recycling pickup. Please do not call the Township during a snow emergency to ask about garbage collection. Until the snow situation is under control, it is impossible to say when garbage collection will be back on schedule. Check Cable 7 or the Township’s website at www.twpusc.org for information on garbage collection.
6. The Township cannot recommend contractors or companies that provide private snow removal. Please refer to advertising publications.
7. The Township receives numerous calls regarding sidewalks not being adequately maintained during heavy snow periods. Sidewalks with unshoveled snow may cause problems for residents, school children, mail carriers, delivery persons, etc. Chapter 109 of the Township Code states that the standard removal time of snow and ice from sidewalks is within 12 hours after the snow or ice has ceased to fall or be formed. There are several Township-owned sidewalks that are posted “No Winter Maintenance” and are not covered under this ordinance.
8. Please keep fire hydrants clear of snow. They are for your safety.
Public Works Snow Removal— How It Works
The Public Works Department is on call 24 hours a day to help residents with snow removal emergencies and related situations. During severe snow situations where plowing is needed, the main state and Township roads have priority, which in some cases requires residential roadways to be designated secondary priority.
The department deploys 16 trucks equipped with salt spreaders and plows to clear approximately 110 miles of roadway, all Township-owned parking lots, buildings, and all School District parking lots.
The department is currently contracted to perform snow and ice removal on all state-owned roadways within the Township, including Route 19, Boyce Road, Mayview Road, Lesnett Road, McLaughlin Run Road, Fort Couch Road, and McMillan Road. It does not have maintenance responsibilities for Allegheny County-owned roadways, including Painters Run Road, Bethel Church Road, and Drake Road.
Some considerations regarding the snow removal services that you receive as a resident of USC include:
1. The Public Works Department must be alert to air temperatures and road surface temperatures. Sodium chloride (rock salt) is effective to about 23° Fahrenheit. At temperatures below 23°, road surfaces will require additions of liquid calcium chloride. Traffic causes rock salt to act more quickly, so streets with heavier traffic will show the results of sodium chloride application sooner than less traveled roadways.
2. Air Science Consultants are contracted by the Township and available on a 24- hour basis to provide periodic advance weather forecasting.
3. Peak traffic occurs between the hours of 6–9 a.m. and 3–6 p.m. Decisions to delay school must be made by school administration.
4. The Public Works Department minimizes the use of chemicals by plowing whenever possible. Generally, accumulations over one inch with additional snow predicted may require plowing as dictated by temperatures and information obtained from Air Science Consultants.
5. Constant monitoring of road conditions helps the Public Works administration coordinate snow removal actions to ensure total roadway coverage. All snow removal vehicle drivers assist and back each other up to ensure effective roadway salting and plowing.
6. Walks will be cleared at the Township building, C&RC, and tennis bubbles as soon as possible. The Recreation Department’s schedule is checked to ensure clear walkways prior to scheduled activities.
7. Excessive snow may require opening of inlets or location of fire plugs.
8. The Public Works Department has instituted an anti-icing process into the snow removal operation. This process consists of applying manufactured salt brine to the roadways prior to a storm event. As you encounter these Public Works’ trucks applying the product, please give them the space and right of-way needed.