City public works staff Craig Jackson and Graham Lewis add the finishing touches to a sidewalk on Hudson Avenue on Friday, Jan. 3 before loading their machines into the truck to tackle another area. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Snow keeps city crews hopping, ‘windrows’ biggest complaint from public

City apologizes for inconvenience, hopes neighbours can assist those who aren’t able to clear snow

Just like highways crews, city workers have been working long hours recently to keep up with snowfall.

The biggest complaint the public works department has received in the aftermath of the two big snowfalls has been about the piles of snow, or ‘windrows,’ which plows create along driveways.

“Due to the quantity and density of the snow, the windrows can be sizable and difficult to shovel,” stated city engineer Jenn Wilson in an email Friday. “Our operators try their best to ensure driveways receive the least amount of snow as possible; however, windrows cannot be completely avoided.”

She said the city asks that people be considerate of others during such times and, if possible, help those in need of extra assistance.

“We apologize for any inconvenience and will continue to work diligently to clear the roads and sidewalks.”

Read more: Downed trees close westbound lane of Highway 1 east of Salmon Arm

Read more: Snow report – Big week sees over 80 cm of snow for Big White

City bylaws prohibit shoveling, plowing or snow-blowing driveways and windrows back into the roadway.

“This creates a safety hazard to our public and sets our crews back,” Wilson adds.

She said city operations are done in keeping with the city’s snow and ice policy. That means arterial and collector roads are a high priority and, only after those areas have been completed, can crews move into lower priority areas such as subdivisions, local roads and sidewalks.

Because of the weight of the snow recently, sidewalks could only be managed by snow blowers.

“We have definitely been challenged by the amount of snow that we have received in the last two snowfalls,” added public works director Rob Niewenhuizen in an email Friday. “Not to mention the power outages, a few breakdowns, etc. The crews have put a lot overtime in to deal with the situation but they are doing well for not getting a lot of rest.”


marthawickett@saobserver.net
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