Snow plows in Red Deer are back on schedule after a delay due to the extreme cold last week.
Greg Sikora, the city’s public works manager, said starting snow zone plowing last week would have been difficult for both city workers and residents.
“What we do is assess the risk of working in that temperature, because equipment is prone to failure at temperatures below -25 C. Hydraulic lines become sluggish. The oils in them become thicker, so you have to allow more warm-up time,” Sikora said.
And when it’s difficult for snow plows, it’s difficult for regular vehicles, he said.
“Imagine everyone trying to move their vehicles in -40 C weather. Providing the service would have been off-key and wouldn’t have been well received.”
Plowing began Monday on green routes in Snow Zone H.
Plowing will continue alphabetically, until all snow zones are completed by about Feb. 12. While plowing is underway, parking restrictions will be in place, which could last for several days.
Sikora said work is proceeding on schedule. Touch ups on green routes (bus routes through neighourhoods) in Zone H on Tuesday will be followed by green routes in Zone I on Wednesday. Grey Routes (residential streets) in Zone H will also commence on Wednesday.
During green route plowing, residents will find no-parking signs along the street. Parking restrictions are in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Saturday while plowing is scheduled. Vehicles left on the street will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.
Sikora said only 17 vehicles were ticketed on Monday, which is very few, so people were getting their vehicles off the street.
During grey route plowing, residents will notice signs at the entrance to their neighbourhood. Parking restrictions are in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday while plowing is scheduled. Vehicles left on the street are ticketed and plowed in. Parking restrictions are not in effect on weekends.
Sikora said residents should sign up for plowing alerts, which are available by text, email and a phone call.
This season, snow zone plowing has been triggered when the snowpack reaches between five and 10 centimetres for quicker and more frequent snow removal. Previously, snow had to reach 10 centimetres.
Sikora said Red Deer could still see 50 to 60 centimetres of more snow this season, based on historical weather data. Plowing now will help prevent big snow ruts on roads from forming.