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Street snow clearing

Snow Clearing - PlowAt the beginning of each snowstorm, trucks are dispatched to begin salting and plowing operations. As the snow accumulates, additional plows are called out for support.

In advance of winter storms and when conditions allow, a salt brine anti-icing solution is applied to city streets, which allows snow to be removed more efficiently. Road surface temperatures below -12 C limits the effectiveness of de-icing chemicals (i.e. salt).  Abrasives (sand) may be used in these situations.

As the storm occurs, crews strive to keep main arterials (ex: Main, Mountain, St. George, Hospital areas) open at all times

After snow begins to accumulate, the street plows will be called in to commence plowing. Main arterials are completed first, followed by all other streets. 

It takes 6 to 8 hours for crews to initially plow every street in the city for an average storm of 25 cm. Type of snow (wet or icy accumulation), drifting snow, numbers of parked cars, and traffic volume impacts the timeline for snow plowing operations.

Once a storm has ended, crews endeavour to plow all streets to their travelled length and provide centre strip bare for all city streets within 24 hours of the end of a storm.

Deployment of plowing equipment is done in the following priority:

Priority 1: All arterials (Wheeler, Main, Mountain, Vaughan Harvey, etc.) and collectors (Evergreen, Frampton, Hennessey, Pleasant, etc.) and covers 526 lane kilometers of roadway.

Priority 2: All local streets (Douglas, Hopper, Churchill, Ellerdale, etc.) and covers 586 lane kilometers of roadway.