Snow lift crews pull an all-nighter

Tyler Clarke
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A lack of city snow-clearing efforts during the day today (Tuesday) is not a sign of crews slacking off.

City public works director Colin Innes is seen at Monday’s city council meeting, prior to which he detailed the city’s snow clearing efforts thus far for the Daily Herald. 

After pulling what was anticipated to be an all-nighter lifting snow from the city’s central business district, public works director Colin Innes said that crews are on break “because of the number of hours people are able to work.”

After getting “socked in pretty good” by weekend snowfall, Innes said that crews have remained busy, clearing priority one streets within about 24 hours, after which they’ve already moved on to priority two streets, which includes the downtown core.

“Between the snow that had been packed before and all this new accumulation, there’s quite a bit of snow downtown,” he said.

“Their original plan before it snowed, they were actually going to do a snow lift in the downtown area Sunday night, and then of course we got the snow over the weekend so they had to change things.”

“It’s the weather,” Mayor Greg Dionne said after Monday’s city council meeting. “We live in snow country.”

Commending city crews for doing a “great job,” Dionne said that early efforts to widen roadways have proven beneficial after the weekend deluge of snow.

“Now we’re going to plow it out right where it was,” he said. “It’s an endless game when you talk about snow removal.

“On Olive Diefenbaker Drive it was so narrow it was down to two trails and the ruts were getting so big that there were a few accidents where people actually got tied up in the ruts, bounced out and hit a parked car.”

To help prevent such narrowing of streets, Innes encourages residents to obey parking restrictions that follow heavy snowfall, which if broken can result in tickets and towing.

It’s most common to see poorly graded areas in front of apartment buildings and other such locations where lots of people park on the streets, and do not obey signs requesting streets be cleared of parked vehicles for snow removal efforts.

“We really do a way better job of snow removal when people don’t have vehicles on the street,” Innes said. “In most areas it’s not a big issue.”

Throughout the week, crews will move through their list of priority streets and will begin work on residential roadways by the end of the week.

All this rests on the assumption that another snowfall doesn’t take place in the interim, which would mean re-starting the effort by clearing the city’s major arterial and emergency routes.

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