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Prepare Now for Winter Road Service Agreements

By Andrew Mummert posted 06-13-2017 08:00

Townships that want to renew or establish winter road service agreements with the state Department of Transportation should notify their Penn­DOT district maintenance office now. For agreement renewals, the cutoff date for a municipality to legally withdraw in writing is July 31.

Under these agreements, which can have terms of up to five years, PennDOT pays municipalities an upfront annual lump sum to remove snow and ice from state roads from October 15 to April 30. PennDOT pays a winter severity adjustment at the end of the season, depending on how the winter relates to PennDOT’s five-year average historic cost.

PennDOT must approve all contracts before winter maintenance begins.    

To determine if PennDOT’s reimbursement rate will cover expenses, townships should look at the costs of purchasing salt, anti-skid materials, and other supplies and providing equipment maintenance, labor, and overhead.

Townships should also consider the legal ramifications of entering into such an agreement and review these contracts with their solicitor.

Fifteen percent of state roads are maintained through service agreements with townships and other municipalities.

For more information, including other agreement mechanisms and options, call your PennDOT district maintenance office.