Irwin Borough

Borough Of Irwin Public Works Department
Snow and Ice Control Program

The summary below answers the most commonly asked questions about the program. It also addresses costs involved in snow removal. 

The purpose of this manual is to provide general operational guidelines for the Public Works staff involved in snow and ice control. It includes procedures for operation during different types of storms, manpower and equipment resources and prioritized snow routes.

Enacted 2010

Borough Of Irwin Public Works sets the Snow and Ice Control Program policies and procedures used during snow conditions. The program includes prioritizing the Borough’s street system, sidewalk and trail system “ Irwin Parks walking trail “, and parking lots for plowing and deicing operations.

Street System Description

The first priority streets known as “ LEVEL 1 “ (major collector streets and hills) that are considered the minimum network that must be kept open for emergency services, including police, fire, and emergency medical assistance. “ Level 2 “ (Minor collector streets and parking lots) are side street that begin to tie the main streets to the alley’s. “ Level 3 ” Are the Borough’s remaining alleys not included in the first two levels. Highlights of the program are as follows:

  • Public Works Dept. snow and ice control crew work events using 3 trucks, 1 Backhoe: The 3 trucks are equipped with plows and salt spreaders.

  • There are 11 miles of major collector streets, 8 miles of minor collectors, and 8.10 miles of residential streets                      alleys in Irwin, for a total of just over 18.10 miles. The actual miles plowed and salted are significantly more than that figure since many of the streets are two lanes and a minimum of two passes is needed on each of the collector and minor collector streets.

  • Salting begins when snow starts to fall or prior as a pre treatment per a forecasted event.

  • Plowing is done once snow and or ice has accumulated on the streets.


Level Event Description

Level 1                                                                                                                                                                                                      Event: 4” Inches of snow or more and or ice/sleet event and or evening or weekend Police road control request.

Major collector streets and hills: A major collector serves multiple subdivisions or areas of the Borough. It collects traffic from minor collector streets. Streets in major business, commercial areas are also considered first priority. Steep hills and sharp curves also are considered first priority.

Streets:  Main, Oak, Western Alley,1st,  2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, Chestnut / 10th st. extension, Ash, Caruthers.  Hills: Lombard, Fairwood, Beatty, Sweetbriar, Adele, Carroll, Colony, Plymouth, Fairview, Walnut, Water, Spruce, Orchard, Pine, Vine, Warden, Greene and Highland, Melrose,  8th street “hill only”, 9th street “hill only”.

Level 2                                                                                                                                                                                                   Event: Under 4” snow and or after a level 1 event has been secured. 

Minor collector roads:  A minor collector is not covered in the first priority level 1 but serves a single subdivision or area of the Borough. It feeds traffic to major collector streets.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Streets: Beech, Cascade, Cedar, Center, Cherokee, Cypress, 8th, 9th, Elm, Grandview, Grant, Hemlock, Iroquois, Locust, Maple, Michael, Montana, Orchard, Palmetto, Penglyn, Poplar, Seminole, Sherman, Short, Vermont, Victoria Lane, Willow and Wyandotte.   Parking Lots: 2nd, 3rd and Depot, 3rd and Main, 4th, 5th, Irwin park lot and Penglyn at Ash St, Western Alley from 1st street to Bell Park.                 




Level 3

Event: Under 2” of snow or dusting and or after a level 2 priority has been secured “ usually 24 hours after a major event ”


Alleys and sidewalks: Not covered in the first two level priorities but include all the other alleys not documented in levels one or two and are not normally plowed or ice-treated during a level 1 and or 2 event and include the Irwin Park walk trail and Borough’s sidewalks.


Alley’s: Apple, Brown, Baptist, Caldwell, Cherry, Church, Depot, Diamond, Dairy, Fir, Horsechestnut, Horsehoe, Locust, Maple, Mulberry, Norwin, Park, Playground, Police, Poplar, Race, Redwood, Sherman, Station, Syrian, Sweden, Virgin, Waddell.

Sidewalks; 1st street parking lots, 3rd at Depot Alley, 3rd at Main street, 4th and 5th, bus stop and memorial at Main and Pa, Bell park,  6th street and the Main office on Main street.


Sidewalk and Trail System

Plowing of trails and sidewalks is done on a priority system. As per the Borough ordinance, sidewalks are treated within 24 hours of an event.

·  The first priority routes are primarily school routes that must be kept open when schools are in session. First priority also includes other high-use sidewalks and trails. It is the goal of the program to keep these walks plowed during the duration of the storm.

·  Second priority routes are recreational and less-used sidewalks and trails. These routes are plowed after the storm subsides. It is the intent to have all hard-surfaced sidewalks and trails plowed by noon the day following the snowfall. This is in accordance with provisions in the Borough Of Irwin Code Of Ordinances.

Parking Lots

Borough Of Irwin parking lots are also plowed and ice-treated on a priority basis. It is the intent of the program to have all lots serviced so customers and employees can access the facilities. A major obstacle in snow / ice treatment in Borough owned parking lots are the fact that residents park their cars there at night and weekends blocking the Public Works Department attempt to quickly, efficiently and safely treat the lots. The Borough has instituted the following program that will be posted at all entrances of parking lots and enforced by the Borough’s Police Department.                                                                          

·  Parking lot snow / ice removal procedure: A no parking sign will be posted during snow removal months and taken down after the winter months are over. The signs shall read: No Parking Snow Removal 1am – 6am Strictly Enforced, Violators will be towed. 


Recommended evening and or weekend call out procedures

It is recommended that the streets department be called out after normal business hours “ 0700-1530 “ when;                                              1.  When the road conditions are affected by a recent snow and or ice event during non-business hours and no department personnel is on duty.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           2.  When an accident and or emergency occurs and requires salt.                                                                                                                                3.  The above-mentioned events are suggested that 911 be notified for department assistant at any time 24 hours a day seven days a week!  Regular road treatments request is limited up until 2200 hours unless the for mention occurs!


Snow Removal Cost and salt usage per a call out   

The following cost is based on actual time studies, labor and material estimates every time Public Works gets called out for a level 1 “Major collector roads and hills”  request.

Total time with one truck, one man to treat “one time “ a level 1 event on a call out.                  3 Man Hours @ $25.37 per = $76.11           Total salt required to treat a level 1 event one time.  4 tons per truckload per hour X 3 hours = 12 tons salt  @ $52.00 per = $624.00        Estimated prorated gas usage for truck “ per in house study “                                                       $23.50                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 $723.61 Plus- Wear and tear on truck, plows, high lift and facility use.

Notes from the Superintendent

During heavy snowfalls, problems arise for residents when mounds of snow are left on the sides of streets and driveways become blocked by plowed snow. Although a concerted effort is made to plow in a manner that does not block driveways, it is not always successful. Residential streets are plowed down the center of the street in an effort to avoid covering sidewalks, parked cars, and blocking driveways. As quickly as possible, plowed snow blocking driveways will be plowed out of the way. Snow removal is not a normal part of the program. Borough Of Irwin regrets the inconvenience to residents that snowplowing operations may cause.




Following are responses to the most common questions.

1. Why aren’t all residential streets plowed and treated during routine storms?

With over 18 liner miles of streets to maintain with 3 snowplows, it is not possible to service all of the streets at once                                                The equipment is kept busy 24 hours a day servicing the first and second priority streets. During major snowstorms, contractual equipment may be called upon to help with the operation.

2. During major storms, why is only one lane plowed on residential streets?

There are two reasons.

a.   Time--It is important to service as many streets as possible in a short period of time. This enables more citizens to get around as soon as possible after the storm. Plowing two lanes would take twice as long, resulting in delays in service to some citizens.

b.   Room--Due to parking on the streets, there is not room to plow two full lanes. One pass will provide an 8-foot lane. The time involved to provide another 3-4 feet is not time-effective.

3. Why not go back later to widen the lanes in residential areas?

After the storm subsides, crews will plow residential streets as wide as they can without covering sidewalks. Driveways that are blocked by snow left as a result of the efforts will be plowed open.

4. Why are some streets plowed curb to curb and others are not?

Most first priority streets are plowed curb to curb. The exception is street sections that have parking in front of residences. On some streets that have houses only on one side, it is possible to plow all the snow to the opposite side of the street. Streets are plowed curb to curb to provide for good traffic movement and to allow for adequate drainage once the snow starts to melt. Also, first priority streets usually have detached sidewalks that are not covered by this plowing operation. Plowing curb to curb in residential areas would result in covered sidewalks and blocked driveways.

5. Why not plow to the center?

Piling snow to the center of the street can create a very hazardous situation. Eliminating a portion of a lane restricts traffic flow. In fact, plowing to the center usually would not leave adequate lane width for traffic movement, especially fire equipment. The freeze-thaw cycle contributes to the deterioration of the pavement as well as creating problems when the melting snow freezes on the road surface every evening. This practice can also create sight obstructions for low-profile vehicles and cause problems for residents entering and exiting their driveways. Plowing to the center would have to be accompanied by a snow removal program.

6. Then why not remove the snow?


Snow removal is extremely expensive. Additional equipment would have to be purchased or contracted, and, if purchased, additional people would have to be hired.

For additional information about the program, call the Public Works Department at 724-864-3105 Ext.1    

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