City discusses snow removal issues

Cynthia Sheeley/Torrington Telegram

TORRINGTON – The city of Torrington held a public meeting on Monday, Jan. 30 to discuss snow removal issues within the city. The purpose of this meeting was to provide time for commercial snow removal contractors and residents to discuss snow removal with Streets and Sanitation Supervisor Ed Hawley and his department.

While snow removal is a common activity every year, this winter has been a bit more unique with storm frequency, amount of snow and cold temperatures. These elements have combined together causing continuous winter road conditions and extra complications with snow removal. In previous years, it seemed the days in-between storms would allow the snow time to melt, however, this year that has not been the case.

“My biggest concern is in the downtown area,” Hawley told the audience. “We try to get through to clean up downtown by morning. Then three to four hours later, we have people come through and push everything off into the road and the gutter.”

Hawley told the contractors and residents that they could push snow into the middle of the road if they did it before his crew plowed their area. After the roads are plowed, they should find other places to pile the snow. In addition, those shoveling snow should ensure their gutters are cleared to allow streets to clear as snow melts.

Also, those removing snow from driveways and sidewalks with ATVs should be aware of where they are pushing the snow. In many cases, they are pushing the snow to the end of the block and dumping it off of the curb. This can cause problems for pedestrians when crossing streets.

Depending on when the weather, the streets and sanitation department plow the roads in town before daybreak after it snows. In most cases, they begin plowing at 1 a.m. so they can get the roads plowed before people are up and driving. It is not only easier to plow in the early morning hours without being impeded by traffic, but it is also safer.

When the city begins plowing, they start with clearing downtown first. They will hit C Street to D Street, from 23rd Avenue to 19th Avenue The other truck will hit the overpass and work its way to Frontage Road and Highway 26. Next will be Highway 85 and Bomgaars and then they work on the residential parts of 20th Avenue and 25th Avenue.

They will work on Mainstreet and the avenues. Then they will work on West C all the way to the hospital and then clear the roads around the hospital. 

For more clarification, the snow route is posted on the city’s website and can be found at If there are any questions about when the city will be out plowing or where to pile snow, Hawley can be contacted at 307-532-6370.

“I appreciate all the help we can get,” Hawley said. “We’re happy to work with you.”

According to city ordinance, all sidewalks should be shoveled including a walking path across driveways. In some areas, residents have not been clearing a path across their driveways, creating an icy path for pedestrians. Chief of Police Matt Johnson said if you see something dangerous you can report it to them and they will look into it. 

“It is really important to communicate with the city employees, departments, the public and those interested,” Mayor Herb Doby commented. “If we can figure out a good way to communicate about timing, where to put the snow so it can be picked up by the city, that’s a good thing. I appreciate everybody’s cooperation.”

For more information, you can contact Hawley at 307-532-6370 or [email protected]

Video News