‘It’s been fairly normal’
Public works busy clearing roads, sidewalks following major snow event
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.