By Justin Seward
With the warmer temperatures this winter, the Redcliff public works department have not been pressed into action as often for extra maintenance around town this year.
“We’ve had a pretty good winter,” said Corey Popick, Town of Redcliff’s director of public services.
“The weather has been quite mild. We haven’t been presented with any major challenges.”
Popick says the main issue this winter has been dealing with ice as the mild temperatures have seen snow melt and then freezes in the later hours of the day and public works has had to deal with slippery conditions early in the morning commutes.
Maintenance has included sanding the sidewalks and roadways the town owns as well as culvert and catch basin repairs with the ice build up.
“When water flows into it (the culvert) during the day when it’s melting, it’s good to go, but once it freezes overnight then of course your drainage parameters for storm water can freeze up so we’ve got to thaw them out,” said Popick.
During the winter, residents have to follow a snow maintenance bylaw for all sidewalks that border their residence and have to clear the snow within 24 hours.
Under the Street Bylaw- Protection and Maintenance of Sidewalks, it states “the owner or occupant of any property that has a sidewalk located on a boulevard adjoining that owner’s or occupant’s property or has a sidewalks abutting to the owner’s or occupant’s property shall clear away any snow, ice, dirt or other obstruction from the sidewalk within 24 hours after the time such snow, ice, dirt or other obstruction was or formed on the sidewalk.”
The residents have been “quite great” said Popick of clearing snow this year.
Popick says drivers have been staying well away from the snow clearing equipment.
“This year we purchased a new street sander,” he said.
“It’s got a lot more amber lights on it and a couple bigger signs and it’s really getting the message out to stay 15 to 20 metres behind the snow plowing equipment so you don’t interfere with the operator in his line of sight and you potentially interfere with the sand that’s coming out of the sanding trucks.”
The town has not enacted a snow parking ban policy which would allow the municipality to direct residents to remove their parked cars in affected areas while snow plowing commences.
“I realize people are becoming more aware,” he said.
“And certainly with getting more access to not only town personnel but other residence through social media and when they’re bringing various concerns up on social media channels. Somebody is usually answering their questions a lot quicker.”