April 12th, 2024

City driving into winter road conditions

By Lethbridge Herald on October 24, 2023.

A sanding truck gets loaded with a salt and sand mixture Tuesday morning in front of the City of Lethbridge’s salt storage shed. Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – apulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Winter is here and the City of Lethbridge was ready for it.

The City’s Transportation and Operations department announced Tuesday how they have been preparing for winter driving conditions that are now in effect. 

Transportation Operations Manager Juliane Ruck told the Herald crews were already tackling the first snowfall Monday night to be prepared for Tuesday morning’s commute.  

“We’ve watched the weather forecast all week long and we were prepared. We had crews working last night and we have equipment and trucks ready for today to tackle the snow according to our priority system,” said Ruck.

She said the City takes care of Priority 1 roads first, dedicating resources to major roads across Lethbridge including Whoop Up Drive, University Drive and Mayor Magrath Drive. Once they are in reasonable winter driving conditions they move on to Priority 2 and 3 routes.

Ruck explained how they utilize sand and salt to improve winter driving conditions across the city. 

“We have a lot of sand and salt and we mix it according to the temperature conditions, because the colder it gets the less the salt actually works. In temperatures colder than minus 20 degrees, we use a mixture with a very high sand ratio,” said Ruck. 

She said the trucks that distribute the sand and salt mixture onto the roads are equipped with a front load plow and therefore are able to do both at the same time.  

“We want to encourage people to keep the distance from our vehicles when we’re out there – five cars length are really good as our vehicles have a lot of blind spots, so that helps our operators and keeps residents safe.”

Ruck said they are also encouraging residents to stay informed, especially now that winter driving conditions are in effect and to be good neighbours and help those around to shovel their sidewalks if they are unable to do so or they are away. 

“People are encouraged to sign up with the Loop app or watch for our snowplow tracker where we have labels on the map to indicate when they are active on snow roads or call 311. It’s good to stay in the know if you see snow in the forecast and check our web page and all the tools that we provide.”

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