At home is the safest place to be during winter weather, but those who must travel during storms
can rest assured that their local highway teams and state DOT are working hard to maintain roadways
for winter travel. This year, many public works teams will be working even harder, with longer
shifts and additional demands because of a snowplow driver shortage.
Current estimates suggest the trucking industry is short 80,000 drivers nationally‐ a record high.
A lack of individuals with Commercial Drivers’ Licenses is being felt across the country, including
in New Hampshire where many local highway agencies have struggled to fill temporary seasonal
positions for snowplow operators and other snow and ice‐ fighting positions.
Despite these challenges, public works teams are working hard to be ready for whatever winter might
throw at usThis Winter, Public Workers are Doing More with Less
, and to always live up to the motto that Public Works Makes It Happen. They’re thinking
creatively about how to minimize any impact to Levels of Service, such as shifting team members
within municipal departments, and recruiting Fire and Medical Responders, retired public servants,
and contractors to fill critical snow operation roles. Some crews are adding new tools to their
winter response toolbox this year, including innovative liquids and treated salts to prevent and
treat icy roadways more efficiently while often simultaneously reducing costs, impact to the
environment, and Spring clean‐ up time. We’re proud of the many New Hampshire highway departments
that joined UNH T2 this year to learn about the latest materials and options for addressing snow
In addition to reviewing your community’s Level of Service plan to understand your highway agency’s
strategy for winter clean‐up, take a moment to sign up for available service alerts, such as
through email, phone, website, or social media. And if you have a question about how your streets
are being maintained, give your public works director or road agent a call. Community service teams
take pride in their supportive role to our municipalities and are happy to talk about their
activities and efforts.
Want to lend a helping hand? It’s slow‐going when cleaning up sidewalks after a snowstorm; there’s
specific equipment needed to do the job, and from a logistics perspective, this is often the final
step in the snow removal process. Shoveling the sidewalk in front of your home and keeping the
hydrants cleared helps not only your public works team, but also pedestrians and your neighbors.
Public works professionals work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to maintain our roadways and
public infrastructure, and despite the unique circumstances and challenges they’re facing this
winter, they remain committed to promoting safe travel. When the snowflakes start falling, please
don’t forget to slow down and move over for the snowplow, and to extend any additional courtesy
possible to the dedicated men and women that maintain our public roadways. This winter, although
they may be doing much more with less, they will be giving their best for our towns and cities.
Know someone who might be interested in a career or part‐time job, and wants to work with a
dedicated team that makes a difference every day in the lives of New Hampshire’s citizens and
drivers? Encourage them to check out the great opportunities available with our state and local
highway teams and public works departments.
The UNH Technology Transfer Center fosters a safe, efficient, and environmentally sound surface
transportation system by improving skills and increasing knowledge of the transportation workforce
and decision makers. As the site of the state’s Local Technical Assistance Program, it works to
enable local counties, cities, and towns to improve their roads and bridges by supplying them with
a variety of training programs, an information clearinghouse, new and existing technology updates,
personalized technical assistance, and newsletters.
For more information about UNH T2 visit https://t2.unh.edu/ or contact Marilee Enus at
UNH Technology Transfer Center
33 Acad Durham NH, 03824
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