Public Works

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Public Works is to provide a responsive and high quality public service to all Portsmouth residents in the maintenance and improvement of town-owned property and infrastructure through positive interaction, interdepartmental relationships, and cost effective management.

Public Works is involved throughout your town in many ways.  Listed here are just a few!

Christmas Tree Pickup

Public Works picks up and recycles discarded Christmas trees each year!  The town publishes a schedule, divided by voting district, and asks you bring your thoroughly "stripped of all decoration" tree to curbside.

After Public Works picks up all trees, they are chipped and turned into free mulch for town residents. 

Be on the lookout for your scheduled pick-up date - usually shortly after the new year. The schedule is posted on the town web site and press releases are given to area papers.  Any residents that miss their pick-up date can bring Christmas trees (stripped of all decoration, of course) to the Department of Public Works located off Hedly Street. Trees are NOT accepted at the Transfer Station!

If you need information on tree pick-up or free mulch, please give us a call at 401-683-0362.

Paving Program

For the past several years, the Town's Public Works Department has managed a comprehensive road paving and maintenance program.  All town roads have had their health graded by a professional company and each year, based on need and available budget, roads are chosen for maintenance or full reclamation.

If you have any questions on the Town's paving program, please contact the Public Works Department at 401-683-0362.

Pot Hole or Other Dangerous Road Condition

If you encounter a pot hole or dangerous road condition on a town road, please call the Public Works Department at 401-683-0362 during the workday (7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m Mon-Fri) so we can fix it right away.

If the pot hole or dangerous road condition is on a state road, such as East Main Road, West Main Road or Union Street (to name a few) please contact the state Department of Transportation at 401-683-1070 during the work day.  

At all other times contact the Portsmouth Police at 401-683-0300.

If you sustain damage from a pot hole:

  • If your vehicle is damaged on a town road, be sure to file a police report and call the Town's Finance Department at 401-683-9118 for more information.
  • For a pot hole or other damage on a state road, call 401-734-4817 or learn what you need to provide at http://www.dot.ri.gov/about/claims.php.

Snow Plow Damage

All reports of mailbox damage by snow plows on town roads should be directed to the Department of Public Works at 401-683-0362.

If you live on a town road and your mailbox was damaged by a town snow plow, regardless of the type of mailbox, it will be replaced with a standard rural mailbox compliant with the US Postal Service (USPS). Posts will be a pressure treated 4” X 4”.  Wherever possible, the existing mailbox, if undamaged, will be reused as well as the existing post. Installation will be performed by DPW employees.

If your yard was damaged by a town snow plow, please contact the Department of Public Works at 401-683-0362 for more information.

If your yard or mailbox was damaged by a state plow, please contact 401-734-4817 and view  http://www.dot.ri.gov/about/claims.php for more information.

Streetlight Out?  Here's What to Do!

If a streetlight is out or has a problem (i.e., cycling on and off) call National Grid directly at 1-800-322-3223 for the fastest response. You will need to choose customer service as though you were calling about your own bill. National Grid needs:

  • the pole number,
  • the nearest street address to the street light,
  • and the exact problem.

If the issue is not repaired, usually within 5 - 10 business days, please call Public Works at 401-683-0362 with the same information you previously provided to National Grid.