The Pepperell Highway Division services approximately 82 miles of roads in Pepperell, excluding Route 119 (South St.) which is under the supervision of MassHighway. Road maintenance services include paving and resurfacing, road improvements, and winter operations snow removal.
As a part of road maintenance, the Highway Division also monitors and cleans drainage structures and catch basin to both protect roadways from water damage and to ensure proper filtration of roadway run-off as it re-enters the waterways and aquifers of Pepperell.
Winter Operations (Snow Removal)
While snow removal strategies can vary depending on the forecast, the Highway Division generally begins by treating roads with de-icing chemicals in order to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the surface. Please be patient: our crews travel on snow covered, slippery untreated roads at any hour of the day or night and will be out as soon as possible to begin snow removal operations.
During a storm plowing operations typically begin when after there has been an accumulation of 2 - 4 inches of snow on road surfaces. Due to budget constraints and cut-backs, the Highway Division is able to employ 11 vehicles during a storm to plow Pepperell's 82 miles of roads. (Please note that Route 119/South St. is maintained by MassHighway. For concerns about snow removal on Rte. 119, please call 978-597-2012 or 800-227-0608.) Each vehicle is assigned to a pre-determined route and will remain active until the snowfall ends, unless called to an emergency. Naturally, the Highway Division's main objective is to keep all roads passable during the storm. Unfortunately, this inevitably means that plows with push snow into many driveways. When shoveling your driveway, depositing excess snow on the down street side of your driveway will minimize the redeposit of snow into the cleared opening when the plow makes its next pass.
Please do not shovel, plow, or blow snow or ice into the roadway, as per the Snow Removal By-law. It is both illegal and can be a serious traffic hazard. And please note that homeowners are responsible for the actions of private contractors. The Highway Division performs winter maintenance on sidewalks after the completion of a storm. Residents are encouraged to clear sidewalks in front of their property.
Following a storm, the Highway Division gives roads another treatment of deicing and continues with any necessary scraping and treating of roads depending on conditions and weather forecasts. Colder weather requires scraping of snow and slush to prevent icing and to ensure that drainage structures are exposed. As time allows, snow is further removed from intersections where sight distance is a concern.
* Please Shovel Around Neighborhood Fire Hydrants
Please help the Fire Department by shoveling around neighborhood Fire Hydrants immediately after snow storms. Without fast, unhindered access to the hydrants and water the Fire Department would lose valuable seconds, even minutes fighting fires. That could mean the difference between quickly controlling a fire and losing everything. Questions regarding snow removal near hydrants should be directed to the Pepperell Water Division.
Please consider adopting a fire hydrant or catch basin near you and clear it of debris regularly after storm event. That will help the Highway Division clear roads as efficiently as possible.
* Salt and Sand
A mixture of sand and salt is available to residents (no contractors please) at the Highway Division Garage on Lowell Rd.
Spring Repairs and Re-seeding
Winter plowing and maintenance may sometimes damage the grass strips along the roads. The Highway Division will repair these areas as soon as possible, although it may take until mid summer to repair these areas. This generally consists of raking out ruts and re-seeding with a standard highway grass seed mix. If your landscaping needs are such that this is unacceptable, you may choose to repair these areas on your own earlier in the spring.
The Highway Division maintains trees within the Town's right-of-way on all public streets (except Rte. 119, which is overseen by MassHighway: contact 978-597-2012) and performs periodic moving and trimming, as well as removal of unsafe trees. Please note that the electric utility and cable company also perform their own independent tree trimming and removal as ongoing maintenance for their respective pole and wire infrastructure. For trees in danger of falling onto utility wires, please contact National Grid at: 1-800-322-3223.
If you feel there is an unsafe tree near the roadway of your property, please contact the Highway Division at 978-433-5735.
In order to maintain the lowest costs possible, the Highway Division maintains its own vehicles and other equipment, as well as equipment for the Transfer Station, the Water Division, and Sewer Division.