While the weather holds, make sure to winterize everything…even mailboxes!

08 November 2023- As the winter season approaches, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reminds property owners to make sure their mailbox is in the correct location to ensure the efficiency of both the mail service and the snow plowing operations. In addition, property owners should also inspect their mailbox to verify it has a strong support.

Mail carriers will make every effort to deliver the mail. However, if the mailbox is not accessible to the carrier due to snow build up, or if it is not properly located along the roadway, you may have to pick up your mail at the post office.

PennDOT allows property owners to place mailboxes within the limits of the legal right-of-way along state owned roadways out of respect for the U.S. Postal Service’s need to deliver the mail and the mailbox customer’s convenience of delivery. But because some mailboxes are located in the legal right-of-way, damages are the responsibility of the property owner.

Normally, a mailbox is placed as far from the shoulder of the roadway as the carrier can reach from a vehicle and the mailbox rests on a firm support, the box should be able to withstand the windrow of snow from the plowing operations. Be sure your mailbox has a strong support.

PennDOT offers the following recommendations:

  • Check your mailbox support often.
  • Clear snow from in front and on the sides of the mailbox, disposing of it properly, not on the roadway.
  • Consider using reflective tape or other material to make the mailbox easier to see during storms or dark hours.
  • Questions regarding the proper location of your mailbox along the roadway can be directed to your local post office.

Property owners who have followed these tips in the past and have still experienced damaged mailboxes may want to consider a cantilever mailbox support that will “swing” a mailbox out of harm’s way. Plans for building the cantilever mailbox support can be obtained by visiting PennDOT’s winter web page HERE.