Budget boost planned for Calgary’s snow and ice removal

Chris Hewitt, the city of Calgary's new roads maintenance manager (OMAR SHERIF/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY)

Calgary is going to plow ahead on snow clearing this winter with a little more cash behind the blade.

On Tuesday, (Oct 6.) Chris Hewitt, the city’s new roads maintenance manager said that the city is working with a budget of around $40 million for the 2020-21.

In 2019, The City of Calgary had a snow-removal budget of just under $40 million.

“At the beginning of 2020, January, February, March, April we spent about $25 million of that,” said Hewitt.

“Leaving us but 40%, $15 million for the October November December of 2020.”

“It is certainly sufficient for us.”

While the budget has slightly changed, Hewitt said that there are no other major changes planned.

“There are no significant operational changes,” he said.

“We have looked at long term forecasting and being told it will be a heavy snow year. We should be ready for that.”

A city of Calgary sanding truck. (OMAR SHERIF / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY)

7-day snow clearing plan stays in place

The city’s seven-day plan will remain in effect for the 2020-21 winter season.

The seven-day snow plan is the City’s schedule for clearing snow from public spaces. The plan comes into action once snow stops falling across the city. It sets out which roads, sidewalks, bikeways and pathways crews will clear, to what extent, and on which day within the seven-day plan.

Priority 1 roads, which are major roads that see the heaviest traffic, are cleared first. After that, the focus shifts to priority 2 roads such as Kensington Road.

Priority 3 and Priority 4 routes, which include residential areas and school and playground zones, are the last on the list.

Even though the city is sticking with the same seven-day plan for this year, Hewitt said that they’re always looking at the equipment and the materials used to try to find any efficiencies.

“We will be trying a new a new salt product,” said Hewitt.

“A pure salt mix for lower and lower temperatures.”

He added that the current product in use is only effective for temperatures as low as -15 Celsius, but hopes the new product will work for temperatures as low as -25.

Parking bans and snow route rules remain unchanged.

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