‘It’s been fairly nor­mal’

Pub­lic works busy clear­ing roads, side­walks fol­low­ing ma­jor snow event

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS - BY JULIE COLLINS jcollins@cb­post.com

Sim­i­lar to other ar­eas of the is­land, Cape Breton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity pub­lic works op­er­a­tors were busy Wed­nes­day morn­ing widen­ing streets and clear­ing side­walks fol­low­ing this week’s snow­fall.

“We’ve had a lit­tle more pres­sure than nor­mal fol­low­ing this most re­cent storm, but our staff han­dled it well,” said north divi­sion pub­lic works man­ager Louis Fer­gu­son.

“We did have a fair amount of snow in De­cem­ber around Christ­mas, but right now we are still pretty much on par with pre­vi­ous years.”

Pub­lic works has a win­ter op­er­a­tion strat­egy that dic­tates when the op­er­a­tors are out and how the roads are plowed, and ac­cord­ing to Fer­gu­son they stick to that strat­egy as much as pos­si­ble.

“Fol­low­ing this most re­cent storm we plowed the streets twice in to­tal. We are still in the process of widen­ing streets and clear­ing some in­ter­sec­tions and fire hy­drants.”

Lo­cated in the North­side Busi­ness Park, along with snow and ice re­moval, pub­lic works north divi­sion takes care of wa­ter and sewer, street re­pair and wa­ter hy­drant main­te­nance.

Along with the main garage build­ing with of­fice and staff ar­eas, there is a fully en­closed salt stor­age shed and a sep­a­rate stor­age build­ing on site.

For pub­lic works crews, win­ter can be a chal­leng­ing time of year.

“This has been a pretty good win­ter to date. Other than the ma­jor storm that hit ear­lier in the week, it’s been fairly nor­mal,” Fer­gu­son said. “This most re­cent weather event was a test I guess, but we got through it well. We had a few mi­nor break­downs with our gear but the fleet depart­ment took care of those and ev­ery­thing is up and run­ning again.”

Prior to a storm, work­ers will pre-salt the hills and main roads in north divi­sion, make sure the salt and fuel sup­plies are topped up and the equip­ment is all in good work­ing or­der.

Fer­gu­son said there were no plans to re­move the snow­banks from along the more busy traf­fic ar­eas un­til af­ter to­day’s ex­pected weather event.

“We will time it so the banks can be re­moved all at once,” Fer­gu­son said. “This is some­thing we do ev­ery win­ter, it is a safety is­sue. It’s the same with emer­gen­cies that may oc­cur dur­ing a weather event, those are a pri­or­ity.”

In neigh­bour­ing Vic­to­ria

“Vir­tu­ally all the roads in Vic­to­ria County are provin­cially owned. The most re­cent blast of snow­storms won’t af­fect the mu­nic­i­pal­ity in terms of what we have bud­geted for road main­te­nance and snow clear­ing.” Leanne MacEachen, di­rec­tor of fi­nance, Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Vic­to­ria County

County, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity pays the pro­vin­cial Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion, In­fra­struc­ture and Re­newal for main­te­nance of its road­ways.

There is an agree­ment with sub­con­trac­tors to see the side­walks and In­go­nish are kept clear.

The Vil­lage of Bad­deck is re­spon­si­ble for clear­ing the side­walks in Bad­deck.

“Vir­tu­ally all the roads in Vic­to­ria County are provin­cially owned,” said Leanne MacEachen, di­rec­tor of fi­nance for the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Vic­to­ria County. “The most re­cent blast of snow­storms won’t af­fect the mu­nic­i­pal­ity in terms of what we have bud­geted for road main­te­nance and snow clear­ing.”

The Vic­to­ria County pub­lic works depart­ment is re­spon­si­ble for the plow­ing and main­te­nance of mu­nic­i­pally owned waste man­age­ment and wa­ter util­i­ties fa­cil­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture.


Cape Breton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity north divi­sion pub­lic works operator Dar­rell Jes­some clears snow from the side­walk on Shore Road in Syd­ney Mines Wed­nes­day morn­ing.


An­gela Payne, who has been a ded­i­cated Cape Breton Post car­rier for 10 years, didn’t let a lit­tle snow keep her from get­ting out early Wed­nes­day morn­ing. Payne has four routes and with the help of her brother Dar­ren de­liv­ers 100 pa­pers. In the back­ground is one of her cus­tomer’s Glen McGean, Beech Street, Syd­ney Mines.

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