|PENNDOT OFFERS TIPS FOR WINTER MAILBOX SURVIVAL|
Indiana, Pa. - PennDOT Engineering District 10 is reminding residents that mailboxes placed along the road within the State's right of way are the responsibility of the homeowner. Mailboxes are permitted within the right of way to accommodate the needs of the U.S. Postal Service.
Though snow plow operators are instructed to travel at lower speeds in areas where mailboxes are present, mailboxes are occasionally damaged by PennDOT's efforts to maintain safe, passable roads during periods of heavy snow. In most cases, PennDOT does not replace damaged mailboxes. PennDOT does, however, have a limited supply of temporary boxes homeowners may borrow if they are unable to replace or repair their own. The temporary boxes are used only until homeowners can replace their boxes.
Since mailboxes are within the State’s right of way, it is the homeowners' responsibility to make sure they can withstand the weight of snow that may be thrown from a plow. Fully supported mailboxes located as far beyond the shoulder as possible while still within reach of the postal carrier are normally safe from damage.
PennDOT offers these tips for preventing damage to mailboxes during winter maintenance activities:
• Place a six-to-eight-inch piece of reflective tape or small, brightly colored flags on the mailbox to help snow plow operators see better. Homeowners should try to make mailboxes as visible as possible for truck drivers.
• Remove snow from around the mailbox but avoid throwing it back onto the road.
• If the mailbox is located within the legal right-of--ay and damage was experienced in the past, homeowners may want to consider relocating the mailbox.
• Make sure the mailbox is firmly supported in the ground.
Homeowners who have followed these tips and have still experienced mailbox damage in the past may want to consider installing a cantilever support that enables a mailbox to swing out of harm’s way. Plans for the cantilever support can be obtained by contacting the District 10 Community Relations Office by phone at 724-357-2800 or by e-mail at email@example.com. The plans are also available on District 10's web site, which can be accessed by going to www.dot.state.pa.us and clicking on "PennDOT Organizations" and then "Engineering Districts and County Maintenance Offices." Then click the "10" on the map.