May 26th, 2024

Roads crews ready for more snowfall

By BRENDAN MILLER on March 21, 2024.

City crews clear snow from Dunmore Road on Wednesday afternoon. The city says they plan on bringing in some additional staff this morning to help keep roads clear.--NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER

City crews were to begin plowing roads at 4 a.m. this morning in anticipation of more snow fall throughout the region today.

According to Environment Canada the southern portion of the province is expected to receive between 10 and 30 cm of snow by Friday morning.

The city says it has brought in additional crew members to assist the morning team of plows, graders and sanders.

“We’re actually bringing in some additional staff to complement the 4 a.m. crew,” said Trevor Funk, superintendent of operations support. “So we should have about five sanders and a couple plows out there in the morning.”

On Wednesday city crews focused on clearing main roads and bridges, including Dunmore Road and Division Avenue as well as targeting roads on slopes.

“We were already running our graders up and down the hills trying to peel off as much material as we could,” explained Funk. “Just to make sure we target those hills, the bridges, the main routes to category 1 roads.”

Funk says crews will work on clearing ‘category 2’ roads that include bus routes and collector roads. Afterwards crews can focus on residential areas.

“This is very, very common situation for us,” says Funk. “This is kind of what we look for in the winter.”

During the evening hours the city performs a road check by sending out a road supervisor to inspect to make sure things haven’t frozen over after plows have been through.

“We always like to do a road check in that early evening time,” says Funk. “Just in case we gotta get some folks back in (during the night) to pepper the hills again.”

Funk says it’s important to give crews enough space to work so they can safely clear the roads and follow the signage on the back of equipment.

“We’re obviously doing our best to keep traction fair out there but you still have to drive to the conditions and give us space when we’re doing that work out there,” says Funk.

According to Environment Canada’s latest forecast, Medicine Hat could receive up to 10 cm of snowfall today.

“We’re anticipating the amount of precipitation that they say, but every weather station is different,” says Funk, “So we might get it, we might not, but at least we’re ready for it.”

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