June 16th, 2024

City making changes to snow removal

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on October 28, 2022.

Herald file photo A line of city snowplows sends slushy snow flying as they make their way down Scenic Drive South during a past season. The City is introducing a phased approach to snow removal this winter.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The City of Lethbridge is introducing a phased approach to snow removal this winter starting with about 25 kilometres of streets and roadways.

Phase 1 snow routes will be activated during heavy snow events and will feature temporary parking restrictions – with enforcement – and implementation of plowing on the right on those affected 25 kms.

Julianne Ruck, transportation operations manager for the City, discussed the changes with media on Thursday.

The City received feedback from residents and will be implementing the changes, said Ruck. Those changes include increased plowing in designated areas. Residents located on the snow routes are going to be receiving a letter informing them directly of the changes. Residents in the Phase 1 area will also get a postcard outlining tools and methods to keep informed when a snow route is declared.

Affected areas are on all three sides of the City, Ruck said. Maps are available online at the City’s website which also has a digital mapping tool so residents can see if they’re impacted by typing in their addresses.

Phase 1 route signs will have a blue snowflake tab for identification, said Ruck, who is encouraging residents to download the Lethbridge Loop app for notifications.

Snow routes may be activated during heavy snowfall. Windrows may develop along curbs, boulevards and driveways as plows push snow to the right.

Earlier this year, city council unanimously approved a recommendation from its Civic Works Standing Policy Committee to approve service level modifications to snow and ice removal starting this coming winter.

In recommending changes, Transportation followed the public’s wishes with the exception of snow removal from school zones, which the department considered to be necessary for safety.

Snow removal costs between $80,000 and $100,000 per shift while plowing costs $2,500 per plow with the City usually having between two and four in operation at one time. It has a total of 12 plows.

The second phase of the changes will involve about 130 kms of roadways and affect between 30,000 and 35,000 residences. The city has a total of about 530 kms of roadways with 120 presently being considered Priority 1.

Starting in the winter of 2022-23 and continuing into 2024-25, the second phase of the changes will include more residential plowing and less snow removal with removal only downtown, around school zones and in the area of the hospital in combination with the declaration of snow routes more frequently and parking enforcement during snow events.

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