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City of Edmonton crews prioritizing icy roads based off complaints

Global News logo Global News 2021-01-13 Lisa MacGregor
a snow covered road: A slick residential road in southwest Edmonton. January 12, 2021. © Global News A slick residential road in southwest Edmonton. January 12, 2021.

The last snowfall in Edmonton was back on Dec. 17 when two centimetres fell.

The recent warm weather is posing a challenge for people and crews around the city.

Freeze-thaw cycles have created icy road conditions and city council has heard some concerns, specifically about residential roads.

Ward 1 councillor Andrew Knack said there hasn't been enough snow to do any residential blading and crews are tackling icy roads on a one-off basis.

"What I've generally heard more so of is concerns around our residential roads, and there are certain intersections that you can see get pretty slick," he said. "Having talked with city staff a few weeks back, considering we haven't seen a lot of snow, crews are trying to go out and respond to where they're getting calls for concerns from people.

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"It certainly doesn't seem like it's top priority in the sense that they're not proactively going out through the residential roads. Again, they are going in to areas where people are having concerns, where they've called that in to 311, where they've emailed or used the app."

Because of the lack of snow lately, the city has also moved some of its crews back to filling potholes.

"It's allowed them some opportunity to do some of that work," Knack said.

In a statement to Global News, Andrew Grant, the city's general supervisor for infrastructure field operations for parks and roads services, said "warm weather in the winter is great, but it can pose a challenge for residents and crews alike with freeze-thaw cycles creating icy road conditions in residential roads."

"Crews are actively responding to 311 notifications with ice blades on plows to help keep these roads smooth, and are applying sand as they clear," he said.

"Crews are paying particular attention to intersections where residential roads meet collector or arterial roads."

Knack said the city has a new policy this year that would allow them to do more neighbourhood blading and provide better service, but because Edmonton has not reached the needed threshold of snow, the city has not been able to test it yet.

READ MORE: City of Edmonton to launch new parking ban for snow clearing 

"The biggest reason we haven't seen any residential blading yet is purely because of the amount of snow," Knack said. "Typically what would happen is that when there's enough snow on the roads to do a five-centimetre snow-pack, that's when our crews are going to go out and do that.

"It's tough, because you have to find that balance of where do we get the best value for our limited staffing resources?"

The City of Edmonton said it encourages residents to report safety concerns and icy roads through 311 or the 311 app.

"When they receive a notification, it's prioritized and routed to our crews for action," the city said.

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