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Damage to Mailbox

Mailbox damage is one of the unintended consequences of any municipal snow removal program. Mailboxes installed along roadways are a challenge for both homeowners, mail carriers, and plow operators. The plow operators need to clear the roads, the mail carriers want to reach the mailboxes and the homeowners do not want their mailboxes damaged.  

In most cases, mailbox damage is caused by snow being pushed into the township right-of-way by truck plows. Although the township plow drivers make every effort to avoid such damage, it is sometimes unavoidable.

To guard against mailbox damage, we ask that residents ensure proper mailbox placement within the township right-of-way. 

Municipal snowplows are typically 42” high. That means that anything lower than this height is subject to the greatest force of plowed snow. The drivers of snowplows are instructed to push the snow back to the curb or edge of the road and the end of the plow can overhang the curb by as much as 12”. This is done to widen the roadway to make room for subsequent snowstorms. 

Mailbox Replacement Policy

This policy pertains to mailboxes damaged by Township snowplows.

The mailbox will be checked to see if a simple repair can be made. If so, this will be done. If the post is broken, but the mailbox can be reused, our workers will remount your mailbox on a new wooden post. The condition of the mailbox and post will be checked.  If they were already in poor condition (rusted or rotted), they will not be replaced. If the mailbox cannot be reused, it will be replaced with a new mailbox. The work will be scheduled as soon as possible after the ground thaws.

The Township cannot participate in the replacement of the luxury type mailboxes which are often installed by homeowners. These mailboxes far exceed the budget limitation of the Township. If you choose to install such a mailbox you do so at your own risk. The limits of the replacement by the Township are as outlined above. The Township does not provide lettering or numbering on the box.

To report a mailbox damaged by the Department of Public Works equipment please fill out a Damaged Mailbox Report Form or contact the Department of Public Works at 973-293-7616.

USPS Curbside Mailbox Installation Guidelines: 

Where to Place the Mailbox:

Here are some helpful guidelines to follow when placing your mailbox:

  • Position your mailbox 41″ to 45″ from the road surface to the bottom of the mailbox or point of mail entry.
  • Place your mailbox 6″ to 8″ back from the curb. If you do not have a raised curb, contact your local postmaster for guidance.
  • Put your house or apartment number on the mailbox.
  • If your mailbox is on a different street from your house or apartment, put your full street address on the box.
Installing the Mailbox Post:

The best mailbox supports are stable but bend or fall away if a car hits them. The Federal Highway Administration recommends:

  • A 4″ x 4″ wooden support or a 2″-diameter standard steel or aluminum pipe.
  • Avoid unyielding and potentially dangerous supports, like heavy metal pipes, concrete posts, and farm equipment (e.g., milk cans filled with concrete).
  • Bury your post no more than 24″ deep.Mailbox installation requirements. Place the mailbox 6 to 8 inches in from the curb. Dig the post hole so you can bury the mailbox post with 41 to 45 inches of mailbox post showing above the ground. Touch or click to open modal.

    County Roads
    The county roads in our township are listed below. If your mailbox is damaged and you live on a county road, please call the County of Sussex at 973-579-0430 to report the damage. 

    • Deckertown Turnpike (CR 650)
    • Clove Road (CR 653)
    • River Road (CR 521)
    • New Road (CR 438) (From Deckertown Turnpike to Rt. 206 ONLY

    A few suggestions to help our plow drivers
    When shoveling driveways, if possible, clear the end (along the road) last to allow time for crews to complete the pushing back of snow, thus avoiding the frustration of re-shoveling. 

    If early shoveling is unavoidable, place as much snow as possible on the “downstream” side of the driveway. The “downstream” side refers to the side opposite from which the plow will approach (it is usually to the right when facing the road from your property). This will decrease the amount of snow re-plowed into the driveway opening.

    Relocate all basketball hoops away from the roadway. These present a hazard for our road crews as the trucks run the plows against the curb and are not looking or expecting these hoops which typically are caught on the mirrors or the truck bodies.   Property owners will be held liable for the damage to Township equipment caused by these hoops.

    Whenever possible, place trash and recycling containers when they are easily accessible, but off the street, if snow-clearing operations continue.