Roads Superintendent at Public Works Doug Halldorson stands in front of 12,000 metric tonnes of sand the City uses to maintain roads during the winter in Red Deer. Robin Grant/Red Deer Express

Red Deer Public Works talks snow removal

City starts out winter season with 12,000 tonnes of sand

The City of Red Deer road work crews maintain more than 600 kilometres of roadways during the winter.

To show how they operate, Public Works held a behind-the-scenes look at the winter maintenance operations at Civic Yards Sand Tent Thursday afternoon.

Roads Superintendent at Public Works Doug Halldorson talked about the different ways the City maintains routes and the tools the crews have at their disposal.

To provide traction on roads in the winter, crews use brine, road guard and salt, he said. Last year, crews used about 7,000 tonnes of sand but the amount depends on the winter.

At the beginning of the season, they start with 12,000 metric tonnes, which sits in a large white tent in the Civic Yards.

Temperatures determine what substance they use.

For example, at minus seven Celsius salt brine is used. At minus 12 Celsius or warmer salt brine is used to pre-wet the sand and then sand is used for added traction control.

At minus 12 Celsius or lower, crews use road guard to pre-wet the sand as salt is not effective below minus 18.

“At colder temperatures, salt is less effective, so it’s all temperature dependent,” he explained.

“We have the plow trucks, the sand, salt and liquids so we try to minimize the salt that we do use and still provide safe and accessible roads,” he said.

Public Works uses different methods to deal with cold winter conditions, according to the City of Red Deer website.

Before a storm, the goal is to stop ice before it forms. During a storm, crews monitor and respond to poor conditions. These reports can come in from residents letting them know what areas in the City need attention.

After a storm, the goal is to ensure city streets are safe and driveable. The City’s Snow and Ice program uses a colour-coded route system to decide which roads take priority.

For example, hills, bridges and hospital routes take priority, Halldorson said. These routes are plowed within eight hours of five centimetres of snow accumulating. Major arterial roads are second on the priority list and are plowed within 72 hours of eight centimetres of snow accumulating.

Downtown roads are third on the list of priorities for crews. These roads are plowed within four days of 10 centimetres of snow.

In residential areas, main neighbourhood streets are plowed after 10 centimetres of snow.

For more information about road maintenance in the winter, see the City of Red Deer’s site.

Just Posted

Women of Excellence Awards introduces ‘Women of Excellence in Construction’

Gala will take place June 19th at the Sheraton Red Deer

Check online to make sure you’re registered to vote in upcoming provincial election

Advance polls open Tuesday, April 9th to Saturday, April 13th

UPDATE: Christy Starling has been found

Red Deer RCMP thank the public for their assistance

Red Deer Legion Pipe Band celebrates National Tartan Day

The band is raising money for their trip to Scotland in 2020

Sharon and Bram head to Red Deer on final tour

The duo is celebrating their 40th anniversary farewell tour

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Oil prices, Alberta election call cloud Stampede chuckwagon auction expectations

The top money bid last year came from Versatile Energy Services, Ltd.

Lacombe hosts 6th Invasive Species Council Conference at LMC

Council looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Carbon tax, oil and gas investment dominate Day 2 of Alberta campaign

NDP pledges more oil and gas processing, UCP slams provincial and federal governments on carbon tax

Most Read