The Milton Public Works department wants to modify most of the town’s 32 cul de sacs in order to spend less time on snow removal in the circular road spurs. This season, they’re starting with just one, at the end of Quarry Road off North Road.

The experimental plan is to turn the large field of asphalt into a ring shape, with a landscaped center, which would also serve as a pervious surface, allowing for storm runoff. According to road department foreman Eric Gallas, the cost will be nominal. He estimates one work day with a small crew to transform the cut de sac, with minimal asphalt removal and introduction of soil, rocks and grass. But the real benefit would be for the snow plows, which would be able to make two simple passes and then shove the two piles of removed snow off the road at the mouth of the circle. As it stands, clearing a cul de sac is a time-consuming operation that takes a little more than half an hour per circle, tying up equipment that could be used along other roadways.

“We’re gonna try it,” said town manager Don Turner of the new plan. “We believe we can save 30 to 45 minutes per storm.”

Counting all the cul de sacs, that’s 16 hours of saved snow removal time, but Turner said not every cul de sac would be convertible, simply because of size. The one on Quarry Road happens to be very large, at 90 feet across, compared to the 60 feet for most others. Still, Turner is hopeful  crews can convert a large amount of them.

“Operationally, it’s going to be better for the town,” said Turner. “But from a homeowner’s perspective I think they’ll have a lot less snow in their driveway.”