Plowing, Sanding, and Salting

DPW crews will be on the roadways as soon as possible. Response time will depend on the moisture of the snow, timing and duration of the storm, and whether the storm has freezing rain and blowing snow. A fluffy, dry snow requires less salt, sand, and plowing than a heavy wet snow. Wet snow may result in very slippery conditions especially when the newly fallen snow freezes on the pavement. During high commuting times, crews will make every effort to keep the major roadways clear of snow and ice. Secondary and side streets will be cleared as soon as possible. Top priority will be given to the heavily traveled roads to ensure everyone’s safety as snow that falls on these roads often becomes packed by cars, making it more difficult to scrape off. During evening and early morning storms, DPW crews will have ample time to prepare the roads for the commuting hours.

Snow that falls in late February and March typically melts much faster than snow that falls during December and January because of the high sun, thereby decreasing plowing, salting, and sanding time. Storms of extended duration tax all available resources (salt, sand, equipment, and employees) to keep the roads open over an extended period of time. Four inches of snow that falls over a 24-hour period will require more salt, sand, and manpower hours than six inches of snow that falls over an eight-hour period.

Shoveling, plowing or blowing snow back into the street when clearing driveways and sidewalks is prohibited by Town bylaws. Violators will be fined.

Salting and sanding

DPW crews will be immediately dispatched with sand and salt when freezing rain falls. Motorists and pedestrians are advised to stay off the roadways until the pavement can be treated. DPW crews are not responsible for sanding and salting sidewalks. Residents are responsible for snowplowing and snow removal on their own property. Winter sand is available to residents at the Wakefield DPW facility on North Avenue. 

Snow removal

If snow becomes a hazard within the Downtown area, the DPW will implement its snow removal plan. The removal will begin after the storm and may require additional days to ensure that all areas are safe for pedestrians. Removal may generally take place during non-business hours to ensure safety; however, on occasion, snow removal may be done during business hours