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Lockport residents say Niagara County plows are out of lane and out of line

Lockport man opens mailbox
Posted at 1:55 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 13:55:45-05

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — Residents on North Tonawanda Creek Road in Lockport recently contacted 7 Problem Solvers about their damaged mailboxes, blaming plows for the dents.

"This is the third mailbox I'll have to replace," said Ron Serafini, blaming Niagara County plows for hitting it each time.

Serafini pointed out a strip of grass exposed in the snow, next to his mailbox, as proof plows hit it. However Niagara County Highway Commissioner Dean Lapp said that's not the case.

"Plows don't hit mailboxes," said Lapp to 7 Problem Solver Michael Schwartz.

Lapp explained damage could be from the force of snow and ice coming off a passing plow, but his department isn't responsible for any property damage. Out of "good will," Lapp said, the Niagara County Highway Department will replace or fix mailboxes to assist "inconveniences." Lapp said in 2022, the department has repaired or replaced somewhere near 60 mailboxes.

Serafini said while he has never seen a plow hit his mailbox, he said plows have gone above their speed limit. He believes that contributed to the damage, but Lapp said all plow speeds are monitored with GPS systems. He added that an alarm goes off in the truck if a driver exceeds 35 miles per hour.

Lapp pointed out two specifications for plowing:

  • Plows have 33 feet from the center line of the road to work with
  • Under federal law, roadside mailboxes must be 41-45 inches tall. Lapp said that's higher than a wing plow could reach.
Lockport plows

Serafini got a replacement mailbox from the highway department, but pointed out multiple dents. He wants it to be replaced with the original bigger one he bought.

Wing plow

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