Department of Public Works
Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
Register   |  Login
You are hereSnow And Ice Removal > PRIVATE ROADS
 DPW Office Hours

Monday - Thursday
8:30AM - 4:00PM

8:30AM - 12:00PM

Saturday, Sunday, & Holidays


 Contact the Office Staff

Lincoln Hooper

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1543
273 Queen Anne Road
Harwich, MA

Phone Numbers:
(508) 430-7555 Main
(508) 430-7598 Fax

General Inquiries/comments:
Email Us




Minimum standards adopted by The Board of Selectmen, October 6, 2003


  • The travel lane for any private road shall be no less than ten (10') feet wide. There must be at least one (1) travel lane for a plow to work that is a minimum width of ten (10') feet.


  • Roadside clearance of any obstacles, including vegetation, shall be no less than two (2') feet either side. This includes, but is not limited to, fences, mailboxes, stonewalls, rocks, shrubs, trees or any other object that may be damaged by snow removal equipment. It also includes a shoulder that inhibits the movement of snow from the road to the shoulder during plowing.


  • Height clearance shall be no less than fourteen (14') feet from the road surface. This is to ensure that branches or any other objects over hanging the roadway, when laden with snow, limit access of snowplows and emergency vehicles.


  • There must be ample room for emergency vehicle to turn around if the road is a dead end. Space at the end of the road should be of sufficient size for emergency vehicles or town plows to be able to turn around in a safe manner


  • Paved or unpaved private roads shall have no defects (potholes or ruts) exceeding two (2") inches in depth. Defects in the road surface must not deviate from grade more than two (2") inches. This includes, potholes, ruts, protruding manhole covers, catch basins and roots.


  •  All private roads shall have a visible street sign, which must be an acceptable Municipal Uniform Traffic Control Device. These are the six (6") inch standard green reflective metal signs with four (4") inch white letters. This sign is to be mounted on a round or square metal post with appropriate mounting cap. A new standard, adopted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, will require these signs to be nine (9") inches high with six (6") inch letters by January 2012.  We recommend that any new installations adhere to this new standard. Please contact the Highway Department for information on companies that supply these materials.


  • This department, each September, will perform yearly inspections of all private roads. Property owners will be notified as to the repairs required to bring their roads into compliance. Should a road not meet minimum requirements, all the homeowners will be notified through the various media outlets by the Highway Department of the deficiencies and be given the opportunity to make repairs. When the repairs are completed the Highway Department will, upon request, re-inspect a roadway to ensure that it complies with standards and notify homeowners of their findings. If it does, plowing and sanding services will be provided.