10430 Audie Lane
La Plata, MD 20646
7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
Chief of Roads
Snow Removal: 888-460-7669
Pothole Hotline: 800-595-7623
The Roads Division is prepared to respond to all winter weather conditions. When snow is forecasted, the Roads Division closely monitors weather conditions and formulates a plan of action based on information provided by multiple agencies.
After the action plan is implemented, County vehicles patrol streets to assess road conditions. As needed, spot salting will be utilized for bridges and elevated roadways. County and contract forces will apply salt to all primary and major residential neighborhood County roads if deemed effective for the forecasted weather.
When it snows, County and contract snowplows concentrate on keeping primary and major residential neighborhood County roads passable. Plowing generally begins when snow becomes 1 to 3 inches deep and the temperature indicates there will be no melting.
After the storm, roads are cleared down to bare pavement. However, the type of snow as well as the wind and temperature may delay clearing of roads. Even after plowing, snow that has been hard packed by traffic often remains on the street and the plows are unable to completely remove it. Salt and/or sand may be used to provide adequate traction.
Please be patient! Roads are plowed according to their priority and reviewed at the end of each season. County employees work around the clock until the more than 2,100 County maintained roads are passable. The Roads Division uses approximately 60 employees, 100 contractors, and 200 pieces of snow removal equipment, and utilizes four salt storage sites throughout the County.
Call 911 in life threatening emergencies. Law enforcement and emergency responders are equipped to handle emergency calls quicker than the Roads Division. The Roads Division will be contacted by law enforcement or emergency response personnel if an emergency vehicle needs assistance to maneuver on a snow or ice-covered road.
Both the State of Maryland and Charles County have designated certain roads as snow emergency routes which are prominently marked with signs. When the State and/or County initiates the snow emergency plan, it is illegal to drive without snow tires, mud/snow radials or chains, or to park on these roads. Vehicles without snow tires or chains found blocking snow routes during an emergency may be ticketed and towed at the owner's expense. State and County snow emergency plans may not be put into effect simultaneously; therefore, pay special attention to news broadcasts when announcements are made. State maintained highways can be identified because they have posted route numbers; County roads do not.
- Be familiar with the National Weather Service terminology for winter storm warnings
- Service your snow removal equipment and have rock salt, cat litter, or sand available to generate temporary traction
- If you must drive, equip your vehicle with snow tires or chains. Please do not risk getting stuck, damaging your vehicle, blocking traffic and snow removal equipment, or incurring towing and impound fees
- A road that has been salted is safer than one not salted. Please do not pull out in front of trucks to get up a hill faster. It will be much easier after the truck has finished salting
- Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel (oil, propane, gas)
- Winterize your home: insulate attics and walls, caulk and weather strip doors, and install storm windows
- Have safe emergency heating equipment available (fireplace with amply dry firewood, portable space/kerosene heaters)
- Know how to shut off water valves to keep pipes from freezing
- Install and/or check smoke detectors and replace batteries if needed
- Have disaster supplies on hand in case the power goes out: flashlight, extra batteries, battery-operated radio, first-aid kit, one-week supply of food and essential medicine, fresh bottled water, non-electric can opener, extra blankets, and a fire extinguisher
- Develop an emergency family communication plan in case family members are separated (childcare, school, work)
- Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as a family contact, especially after an advertised storm.
Charles County Department of Public Works Mailbox Policy No. R-09:
To read the policy in it's entirety, please click here.
Please contact the Roads Division at 301-932-3450 if your mailbox is damaged during snow removal operations. The Roads Division will investigate the claim to determine if the damage was caused by County maintenance equipment making physical contact with the mailbox. If it is determined the mailbox damage was at the fault of the County, the following options are available:
- Replacement by the County of the existing mailbox with a standard wooden post and mailbox in compliance with County regulations (a copy of the regulations is on file in the Roads Division).
- Citizens may be reimbursed at a flat rate of $50.00. It will be the responsibility of the citizen to replace the mailbox.
Mailboxes damaged by snow flowing from the plow will not be replaced or reimbursed.
You can report your damaged mailbox here.
Clearing driveways and entrances is the responsibility of the property owner. All residential and business owners are responsible for clearing sidewalks on their property. We appeal to our residents to clear sidewalks in front of their homes and businesses.
If you have a driveway, please use it. The more vehicles off the street, the better job we can do and the less likely it is that your vehicles will be plowed in, splashed by salt spray, or be damaged.
If you do not have a driveway, park as close to the curb as possible on ONE SIDE OF THE STREET. Park your car on the EVEN NUMBERED side of the street. Move to the other side of the street after the plow has cleared it.
To help avoid the frustration of having a snowplow cover your driveway with snow after you have cleared it, stand facing the street and shovel snow to the right onto your yard instead of onto the street.
Please watch the video below on how to properly shovel your driveway.
Charles County Government is currently seeking snow removal contractors for the 2019-2020 winter season.
Contractors Wanted!Contractor Application Packet (Click Here)
Use the link above to complete the contractor application. Instructions for completing are within the PDF.
Vehicles Needed: Dump trucks already plumbed to carry County plows and spreaders. Contractor-owned snow removal equipment is preferred.
To learn more about becoming a snow contractor, please contact Jakira Butler, Citizen Request Coordinator, at 301-932-3467.
Charles County hires approximately 100 private contractors to assist in the plowing and salting of County roads. These contractors utilize dump trucks, farm tractors, 4x4 pickup trucks, and backhoes. You may not see a white County truck on your road but that is not an indication that the road was not treated. Many residential roads are only accessible by our contractor vehicles which do not have County markings.
All numbered roads (i.e. Rt 301) in the County are state roads and are cleared by the Maryland State Highway Administration.
Private roads are marked with a small diamond in the upper right-hand corner of the sign. These roads are the responsibility of the homeowners and are NOT plowed by the County.
Click here to determine who owns and maintains a specific road located in Charles County.