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Public works department steps up snow removal

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 02, 2014 11:53 am

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Airdrie’s public works crews ramped up their snow clearing efforts on Dec. 19 in an effort to improve road conditions in residential areas.

December packed quite a punch in terms of snowfall; Airdrie was hit with more than 70 centimetres of snow in the first half of the month, over three times the average for that time of year.

Public works crews worked around the clock to keep Airdrie motorists moving through a snowfall that has not been matched since 1901.

The more aggressive approach being taken includes the use of deeper blading/snowplowing.

“While this technique does create larger windrows, it is required to restore single-lane traffic in some residential areas,” according to a press release issued by the City on Dec 19.

Some areas of the city were assessed as approaching impassable, and the public works department determined that as many as half of Airdrie’s residential neighbourhoods would require this treatment.

The public works department is responsible for clearing nearly 200 kilometres of streets in Airdrie, with a goal of providing the highest level of service at the lowest cost.

It should be noted that the department has stated in the press release that in the event of another snowfall, equipment will shift back to priority 1 and 2 roads as per the City’s snow and ice policy.

Priority 1 (arterial roads) include: Main Street, Eight Street, East Lake Boulevard, Yankee Valley Boulevard, and school zones on school days.

Priority 2 (collector roads) include: Meadowbrook Drive, Kings Heights Boulevard, Reunion Gateway.

Public works advises that if you live on a priority 1 or 2 roads, you park your vehicles off the street, so as to allow plows to push the snow as far to the curbs as possible.

Plowing begins when snow has accumulated to five centimeters and excessive drifting has occurred.

During the City’s budget discussions at a council meeting on Dec. 16, aldermen voted in favour of allocating $50,000 to the City’s snow and ice reserve for 2014.


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