The City of Salmon Arm has readied 15 vehicles and budgeted more than $1 million to combat snow and ice this winter.
Robert Niewenhuizen, director of engineering and public works, provided a detailed breakdown of how the city has prepared for winter weather conditions. The city’s road clearing fleet include: three single axle trucks with snow plows and sanders, two back hoes, four one-ton trucks with snow plows, two loaders, two tractors, one tandem axle truck and one grader. For seven days a week roads will be cleared using this equipment operated by a team of 12 workers. Equipment used to clear sidewalks include two trackless units along with one skid steer operated by three parks staff.
Up to four parks staff will be employed to manually remove snow around public facilities, city lots, various stairways and other areas. City sidewalks are not cleared on weekends or if overtime is included by workers.
The city has approximately 70,000 litres of magnesium chloride to be applied to roads in advance of a snowstorm and help prevent the compacted snow from bonding to the road. Niewenhuizen said sand and salt will also used to combat icy road conditions.
The approved 2020 budget for snow clearing includes $903,000 for snow removal from roads and $123,000 for sidewalk snow clearing.
With more than 500 kilometres of road to maintain, the city prioritizes snow clearing routes as follows:
• Major arterial and collector routes – 30th Street and Okanagan Avenue (may be plowed several times during snow event);
• Hospital, bus routes, school zones and severe hill areas;
• Major local routes –17th Street SE between Auto Road SE and Okanagan Avenue, similar streets;
• Local streets and subdivision;
• No-thru roads and cul-de-sacs;
• Gravel roads, laneways, back alleys, dead-end roads;
• Sidewalks (low priority areas).