South Fayette Township

Public Works Department


PUBLIC WORKS - 412-221-8700 ext. 23

Sam Tranter - Public Works Director

Nick Nickolas - Superintendent

 Ernie Nutbrown - Foreman

John Ballo, Skip Bauer, Mike Cardillo, Dan Dernosek, John Farkas, Dale Kirkpatrick,  Todd Petrillo,
Lou Quattro, Greg Totin, Mark Mitchell, Jamie Campbell, Barry Miller, John Barrett



Summer in now behind us and the winter season is right around the corner.  One may think that winter maintenance is a seasonal activity, however Winter Operations is a “YEAR-ROUND-ACTIVITY” 

The South Fayette Township Public Works Department would like to take a few minutes to share with our residence and the traveling public our Winter Maintenance Program.  First: Why is Winter Operations a Year Round Activity?

Winter Operations is divided into the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and of course Winter.  Each season requires different task to be complete in order for a positive and successful “Winter Operation” 


  • Post Winter Meeting
  • Solicit Public Feedback
  • Organize Winter Data
  • Spring Cleanup
  • Conduct Road Field Inspections
  • Develop Comprehensive Snow Plan
  • ( Plan of Action)



  • Start to Implement Action Plan
  • Plan Drainage Work to Eliminate Ice Problems
  • Complete Equipment & Material Storage Building Repairs
  • Complete Obstruction Removal-(lower man holes)
  • Remedy Action-prone Areas
  • Prepare bids & specifications for equipment and materials


FALL (Early)

  • Place 1st Order for Salt & Anti-skid Materials
  • Finalize Snow Agreement with Neighbors
  • Update Snow Map

Fall (Late)

  • Inspect winter Equipment, Prepare & Calibrate
  • Conduct Winter training with Employees
  • Conduct Discussions with Union on any New Procedures
  • Meet with School District Officials
  • Conduct Dry Runs of all Snow Routes



  • Be prepared for first Storm!
  • Conduct Operational Review during Storm!
  • Review Operations After the Storm
  • Complete & Review all Winter Documentation
    • CDL Check List
    • CDL Requirements
    • Run Sheets


As you can see Winter Maintenance Operations is truly a year round operation.  I would now like review some common resident questions in regards to public works.  What is South Fayette Township Public Works. How is it organized,? What is the size of its Operational budget?  What is the size of its salt budget?

            South Fayette Public Works  falls under the leadership of the Township Manager.  The department is divided into three areas. First the management team consisting of a Director and two Foreman.  Second is the Union Work Force consisting of  Heavy Equipment Operators (3), full time Mechanics (2), Laborer / Truck Drivers (6), and third is the Parks Maintenance consisting of (2) Laborer / Truck Drivers  During winter operations the department operates 14 trucks.  Depending on the time, duration and intensity of the storm the department  will have anywhere from 3 to 16 employees conducting winter maintenance operations.  The department’s budget consists of two parts: operation- $1,535,957.00 and Liquid Fuels (SALT)-  $156,500.

            The department  is on call 24 hours a day, 365  days a year.  How and who determines when Winter Operations are needed?  The South Fayette Township Police Department has officers who are on duty 24 hours a day-7days a week.  The on duty police supervisor will determine when conditions warrant the necessity for winter maintenance operations.  Once it is determined that conditions warrant winter operations the Police supervisor notifies the Director of Public Works.  The P.W. Director will then determine the number of employees to be called in to handle the storm emergency!  Many factors are taken into consideration when making this determination.

A few examples are:

  • Type of storm-wet snow, fluffy snow, ice?
  • Day of week- Is it a work day? A weekend? A holiday? A school day?
  • Hour of day- Is it before morning  or evening rush hour? Is it in the middle of the night?
  • What is the expected severity of the storm- Quantity of snow expected? Duration expected? Make up of storm.
  • Availability of resources!
  • Union Contract requirements.
  • Budgetary limitations.


Now how do winter operations work?  South Fayette Township is divided into 13 routes. Each of these routes is sub divided into Primary and Secondary routes.  Once notified of a storm emergency  the P.W. Director or Forman will determine and notify the required manpower.  He will then distribute the required routes to  the available resources. All available manpower will start procedures to clear and treat their assigned primary routes.  After all primary routes are completed and passable, they will proceed to their secondary routes.  All drivers  will notify the P. W. Director  at the completion of their assigned routes. These drivers will then be dispatched  to other routes that have not yet been completed.  Primary Routes may require the necessity of several trips before secondary routes may be started.    What is the difference between a Primary and Secondary Route.  The primary routes are the main primary roadways in the township. All school bus routes, roads required for emergency vehicle access, and any road or street leading to a health care facility are deemed Primary Routes. Primary entrance roadways leading from a development are also designated as a Primary Route.  Secondary routes are side street and  cal-de-sacs in residential developments, along with sparsely populated residential streets and less traveled country roads.  South Fayette Township Public Works regards all roads in the township equal as importance, however it serves no purpose if one can get out of your street but can not proceed any further!

  Residents can be assured that all public roadways will be treated in the safest, fastest, and most efficient manner possible.


Who does what?  South Fayette Township has roadways owned and / or maintained by three separate political entities.  They consist of  State Roads maintained by Penn Dot; State Roads maintained by South Fayette Township through contractual agreements; County Road maintained by Allegheny County, and local roadways owned and maintained by South Fayette Township. 


            State Owned Roadways and Maintained by Penn Dot

    • St Rt. 50-From the intersection of Washington Pike to the Cecil Twp / Washington County Line
    • Washington Pike- From Bridgeville to the Cecil Twp / Washington County Line
    • Boyce Road-From Washington Pike to the Upper St. Clair Twp. Line
    • Mayview Rd- From The Upper St Clair line to the Cecil Twp Line
    • Rt. 978 Union Ave Ext. (Oakdale Hill)-From the top of Rt. 978(Battle Ridge Rd.) to the Oakdale Boro. / Washington County Line
    • Robinson Run Rd-From the intersection of Rt. 978 (Battle Ridge rd) to McDonald Boro. / Washington County Line
    • Presto-Sygan Rd-From the intersection with Millers Run Rd to the intersection  with Thom’s Run Rd.


State Owned Roads and Maintained by South Fayette Township Public Works

o   Oakridge Rd.-From the intersection of Presto-Sygan and Oakridge Rd to the Intersection of Oakridge Rd and Battle Ridge Rd.

o   Thom’s Run Rd- From the intersection of Thom’s Run Rd. and Dutch Hill Rd. to the intersection of Millers Run Rd and Rt. 978 Battle Ridge Rd,)

o   Miller’s Run Rd.(East)- From the intersection of Miller’s Run Rd. and Rt.50 to the intersection of Millers Run Rd. and Rt. 978 Battle Ridge Rd.)

o   Miller’s Run Rd. (West) Gladden Area- From the intersection of Millers Run Rd and Rt. 978 to the Cecil Twp/Washington County Line


County Owned Road maintained by Allegheny County

    • Tom’s Run Rd.- From Federal Hill to the intersection of Dutch Hill Rd.


Township Roads owned and maintained by South Fayette Township Public Works

    • All township owned streets, alleys, and roads


If there is any question as to who maintains the street or road that you reside at please contact the township or public works office.


            What are we doing to reduce cost and increasing productivity and Safety!!

The most efficient method of reducing winter maintenance cost is to reduce the amount of materials (SALT) that is use and to also reduce the man hours of the labor applying the salt without jeopardizing the safety of our residents and the traveling public.  South Fayette Township Public Works, through the use of new and effective technology, was able to achieve this result in a cost effective means.  Last year we purchased two wetting systems for our fleet of snow fighting equipment.  These two units spray the salt with salt brine while it is being dispensed onto the roadway.  The salt brine reduces the amount of splatter of the salt thus keeping more of the product on the area where it is needed.  The salt brine also increases the melting time of the salt thus quickening the time it takes to melt the snow and ice.  The department plans on adding additional wetting system to our fleet as budget permit. 

            Another area that the department  is looking into is being proactive to the winter storms rather than being reactive.  This can be accomplished by applying the salt brine to the roadways prior to the winter storms also known as Anti-icing. 

Anti-icing has several advantages.

    • The first is the ability to apply the brine during better conditions ( before the storm).
    • Snow & Ice can be removed more easily and more quickly after brine is applied
    • Safety is increased in shorter time
    • Can reduce chemical use by 50 to 80%
    • Can be applied during normal work hours thus reducing overtime cost


South Fayette Township Public Works has over 65 miles of roads and 15 miles of assigned state highways to maintain.  There are several ways that you, the resident can help to make our job quicker, safer, and more cost efficient.

o   The first is Vehicle Parking:  If at all possible, park off the road in your driveway. In the case of those with steep driveways, or multiple vehicles: park at the mouth , off the road  The more of the driveway service that is protected, the less shoveling will have to be done.  Cul-de-sacs are difficult to plow with no vehicles parked in them.  It is next to impossible to plow when vehicles are park in them.  Please park all vehicles in driveways and not in cul-de-sacs. Many cul-de-sacs have storm drains installed in them.  This is where we try to put the snow, so that when it melts it will go directly into the storm sewer system.  We can not do this  if vehicles are park over the storm inlets.

o   Next are mail boxes:  Please check the overall condition and position of your mailbox.  Mailboxes are not permitted to extend over the edge of the road.  The township is not required to replace your mailbox erected in township right of ways.  We will not replace any mailbox that is damaged due to flying snow and ice.


o   We often receive complaints about plowing driveways closed after a resident has spent hours shoveling it open. Following these three suggestions for shoveling your driveway will help prevent negative feelings later.

1.     Wait until all plowing operations have ceased before shoveling your driveway.

2.     When shoveling, open the mouth of your driveway, shovel 6’ out into the shoulder of the roadway , and 10’ in front of your driveway.  This will allow the snow plow to unload any snow it is pushing before crossing in front of your driveway.                                                                                                                                                        When shoveling your driveway leave at least 6’ un-shoveled until the plowing operations have ended.  This will permit the snow being pushed to remain on the plow and not be dumped into the freshly shoveled driveway.


Above all, please be patient.  If you do have a problem, do not hesitate to call the township office ( 412 221-8700) between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM weekdays, leave your name, number, address, phone number, and nature of your problem.  Calls received after 4:30 PM may not be acted upon until the next day.  After 4:30 pm Emergencies Only  should  be reported to the Police Department.   If you have any questions or concerns please call the public works office at 412 221-8700 X23 or email us at

As always have a GREAT DAY.


Samuel K. Tranter
Director of Public Works

Fayette Township

515 Millers Run Road

, PA 15064

412 221-8700 x23


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