The town works crew will be working throughout the night — starting at 1 a.m. Thursday — to remove accumulated snow on Canyon Street between 10th and 16th avenues.
“It’s important for you to know that this is not an ad hoc system,” town manager Lou Varela told town council at the Jan. 6 committee of the whole meeting.
With about 47 kilometers of roads to maintain, it isn’t easy to keep people happy after a major snowfall, like the one on Sunday night, Mayor Ron Toyota told his newly elected council.
“I’m sure you have all been getting calls,” he said.
Municipal services director Ross Beddoes said the first priority when crews got to work on Monday morning was to “move snow from the centre of roads to create driving lanes.”
Councillors were provided with copies of the streets, roads and sidewalks policy, which outlines procedures to be followed to deal with snowfalls. Included in the package was a map that illustrates the priority in which snowplowing is to take place. Roads are designated as Priority 1, 2 and 3.
Priority 1 roads, according to policy, include major collectors (main routes serving as connectors/collectors between areas and routes), steep grades (hilly terrain that gets slippery in inclement weather conditions), roads serving emergency routes to hospitals and fire equipment, transit routes and school zones. The roads are to open to traffic within 12 hours after a storm.
Other collectors — roads that run to connectors like 10th and 16th Avenue, for instance — are designated as Priority 2. They are to be opened within 24 hours of the end of a storm.
Priority 3 comprises all other roads, town parking lots and paved recreation trails. The opening of all roads is to be complete with 48 hours of the end of a storm, with the exception of weekends and statutory holidays.
“These are to be considered minimum standards and it is anticipated that under average conditions all roads will be cleared within 24 hours,” the policy says.
An anomaly arises with the maintenance of Canyon Street, which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. However, the road maintenance contract does not include removing snow piled at the sides of the street (and onto sidewalks) that create barriers for parked cars and their occupants. The town is left to remove that snow.
“We have to get permission from the department of highways, because it’s their road,” Beddoes said. “But that is just a formality.”
The removal of snow from Canyon Street on Thursday morning is scheduled to cause as little interference with traffic as possible. Two loaders, two dump trucks, one labourer and a flag crew will be required to complete the removal, which is expected before traffic starts to get busy in the morning.