Cortland County Highway Department


Cortland County snowplow and sander operators are committed to ensuring the safety of the traveling public while working in the poorest weather conditions to make the roads as safe as possible within the constraints of county resources and weather conditions.

Why doesn't the county plow come by my house more often?

Each driver's plow route is approximately 25 miles long, and is traveled at the most efficient rate for applying materials: approximately 35 mph. In addition, the driver needs to come back to the county salt shed periodically and reload. These factors are critical in determining how fast a driver will complete their route and when they will be able to go over the route again.

How should I approach a snowplow or sander?

With caution and respect! Remember, in the winter, plows and sanders must be on the roads, and must be anticipated. In order to completely clear a lane, the plow needs to be as close to the centerline as possible. Give them the room they need to do the best job possible. In addition, never tailgate a snowplow or sander. Stay back at least 200 feet.

The plow smashed my mailbox! Will you replace it?

Only in very limited circumstances. If your mailbox is in the right-of-way,  is in the way of the wing, or side blade of a snowplow, the wet heavy snow thrown from the wing can easily damage a mailbox. Make sure your mailbox is at least 18" from the edge of the shoulder, has a minimum clearance of 42" above the shoulder, and the front doesn't extend beyond the edge of the shoulder. Cortland County will consider replacing a mailbox if driver error clearly caused the damage to the mailbox assembly.

Why does the county highway spread salt before a storm?

This practice is used as a preventive to ice formation. A layer of brine is formed on the pavement which greatly decreases the formation of ice and prevents snow from bonding to the pavement making snow removal easier. Overall, less salt is used making the practice economical as well as safety-conscious.

Why can't I push the snow out of my driveway across the road?

Doing this creates a hazard and you could be held liable if the snow you pushed out onto the road causes an accident.