PennDOT Offers Tips for a ‘Snow Plow-Friendly’ Mailbox

CLEARFIELD – As the winter season continues, PennDOT District 2 would like to remind homeowners who are living along state routes to make sure their mailboxes are “snow plow-friendly.”

As always, PennDOT’s goal for winter is to maintain safe and passable roads.  During snowy weather, maintaining passable roads often requires plowing the snow to the edge of the shoulder of the road.

Because most mailboxes are placed within PennDOT’s legal right-of-way, it is up to the homeowner to make certain that their mailbox can withstand snow being thrown from a passing snow plow. Snow plow operators normally maintain lower speeds when plowing in areas where mailboxes are present.

Occasionally, higher speeds are required to effectively plow heavy or wet snow. Usually, if a mailbox is placed as far back from the shoulder of the road as a letter carrier can reach, and is firmly supported, it should survive the winter.

PennDOT offers the following tips to homeowners that can help reduce the possibility of mailbox damage from routine winter plowing operations.

  • Place a 6- to 8-inch piece of reflective tape on the mailbox to help snow plow operators see the mailbox at night.
  • Remove snow from around the mailbox, but avoid throwing the snow back onto the roadway.
  • Homeowners may want to consider relocating the mailbox if it is located within the legal right-of-way and damage has been experienced in the past.

Homeowners may want to consider installing a cantilevered mailbox support that will swing a mailbox out of harm’s way. Plans for building the cantilevered “snow plow-friendly” mailbox can be obtained from any PennDOT County Maintenance Office in District 2 or by contacting the District Press Officer at 814-765-0423.  PennDOT District 2 includes the following counties:  Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Juniata, McKean, Mifflin and Potter.

Making sure your mailbox is “snow plow-friendly” by ensuring its visibility and stability will help PennDOT and your local letter carrier deliver their best through the remainder of winter.

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