Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snow Removal Response

It's no surprise there've been lots of questions about how the City is addressing the massive amount of snow we received over the weekend. Here's the answers (Please take some time to read the fact sheet at the bottom)

Media Release
January 19, 2011

City Adjusts Snow Removal Plans To Tackle Latest Snowfall

The City of Grande Prairie has amended its regular ploughing practices to step up removal of the record snowfall from last weekend.

As neighbourhoods streets are addressed, residents may notice adjusted levels of service due to the need to expedite snow removal operations. For example, residents could be required to remove ploughed snow from the end of their driveways. As well, in some neighbourhoods snow will be stored in locations not typically used such as sidewalks.

“Cars parked on roadways makes snow removal impossible as equipment cannot fit between vehicles and windrows,” says Robert Carroll, Transportation Services Manager. “This means some streets may not receive snow removal service until the vehicles are removed.

“Snow clearing in driveways and storing the snow in windrows constitute a high level of service and this needs to be relaxed to speed up operations. This adjusted snow removal measure means that the same area can be covered with less staff, resulting in more crews working simultaneously.”

A second measure being implemented is a relaxation of the City’s Noise Bylaw which does not allow snow removal operations after 10 p.m. on Priority 2 routes.

“This Bylaw is in place to enable our citizens to enjoy quiet in the later hours of the evening,” says Mayor Bill Given. “Due to our current situation, it is necessary to speed up the removal of snow from neighbourhoods.”

Sunday’s 20-centimetre snowfall eclipsed a 60-year record. Crews worked overtime throughout the weekend to combat the accumulation.

“These temporary steps will allow our crews in carrying out their work,” says Mayor Given. “Addressing this issue is the top priority for Council and Administration and we applaud crews for their efforts to date. Residents will be informed daily of progress.”

Crews are working in three eight-hour shifts, augmented by contracted equipment seven days a week as long as required. The City invests about $6 million annually in snow ploughing and ice control.

Media enquiries may be directed to:
Mayor Bill Given

City of Grande Prairie Snow Removal Fact Sheet – January 19, 2011

• Crews worked overtime throughout the weekend to combat the record snowfall. These forces were ramped up with contractor equipment on Priority 1 roads.


The City’s Snow Removal Policy calls for Priority 1 & 2 routes to be ploughed first. These include:
Priority 1 – Major Arterial – 100 St, 84 Ave, 68 Ave, Resources Rd, Hwy 40 - Wapiti Road, etc.
Priority 2 – Transit Bus Routes and Major Collector Roadways; Crystal Lake Drive, Mission Heights Drive, Poplar Drive, Royal Oaks Drive, etc.

• The City has advised residents to remove ALL vehicles from these Permanent Snow Routes (Priority 1 and Priority 2) immediately.

• City Crews are presently working on all of our Bus Routes and vehicles parked on these routes are a hazard and make the clearing of snow very slow and difficult or impossible.


• The City is employing six graders, four plough trucks (dump trucks with either plough on the front or under the belly), five front-end loaders with angle blades, five City dump trucks, four contracted dump trucks and one snow blower for clearing windrows. 

• The City has secured 12 additional pieces of heavy equipment – six graders and six front end loaders – to supplement the fleet to expedite snow removal operations. Additional trucks have been hired to assist snow hauling operations.


• Typically, residential streets are ploughed with driveways being cleared and the snow piles being stored in windrows or on rights of way.

• Residents may need to assist by removing ploughed snow from the ends of their driveways.

• A temporary relaxation of the Noise Bylaw will allow snow clearing operations to continue past 10 p.m. on Priority 2 routes.


• The City’s total budget for snow ploughing and ice control is about $6 million.

• There are 130 kilometres of Priority 1 and 2 roads and 180 kilometres of residential streets to clear for 310 kilometres total.

• Up to 30,000 truckloads of snow must be hauled to the snow dump to remove the accumulation to date. By comparison in the winter of 2006-2007 (a record snowfall year), 75,000 truckloads were hauled away between Oct. 27 and April 2007.

• In average conditions, it takes up to six weeks to do a complete cycle of snow removal in the City with only municipal forces.

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