City of Red Deer public works employees install a barrier in the new temporary snow dump located near the wastewater treatment facility on Monday. It is expected the facility will be taking loads of snow from private snow removal contractors later this week.

Crews making progress on clearing snow

Two weeks into the plowing of residential streets, the City of Red Deer snow crews are making some headway.

Two weeks into the plowing of residential streets, the City of Red Deer snow crews are making some headway.

As of Monday afternoon, crews had completed nine of the 57 neighbourhoods set for the plow and windrow treatment.

Once the crews finish the collector roads, transit routes and residential streets adjacent to P4 areas in Bower, the city’s efforts are expected to speed up.

Public Works manager Greg Sikora, said the crews working in the P4 (primarily school) areas will move over to residential (P6) snow plowing once P4s in Bower are completed. He expects this to happen around the second week in February.

“It will be twice as fast as it is right now,” said Sikora. “That’s where we will close the gap on our time lines.”

The residential campaign began on Jan. 14. The city posts daily progress reports on its website. On Monday, the crews were on residential streets in Anders Park East and on P4 roads in the Pines area.

“You can never win at this game,” said Sikora. “It’s kinda like Vegas. We try to proceed the best we can with the conditions that we are faced with.”

Sikora said at times crews are plowing ice rather than snow.

He said crews are faced with six to 10 cm of ice. If it is removed, it will turn to mush in warmer conditions.

“When you go through these freeze-thaw cycles, those ruts form,” said Sikora. “And the ruts end up damaging vehicles and making it difficult to drive when they re-freeze. Also they become slushy and difficult to navigate. Then we are back to the same situation. That’s why we pull all the material off the road and build it into a single windrow.”

Last week, the city received approval from Alberta Environment to open a temporary snow storage site in north Red Deer. The site is being prepped with fences and other modifications to prepare for the snow. It is expected to open later this week.

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