Town plan includes plows, sanding, de-icing and vigilant monitoring
The recently updated Saugeen Shores winter operations plan includes new sections to deal with snow accumulations on bike lanes, snow and ice on sidewalks, a winter patrol of sidewalks and the ability to declare a significant weather event.
During the winter season, Saugeen Shores patrols routes twice daily, seven days a week to record weather and road conditions and mobilize clearing crews when necessary, based on accumulations of snow and ice.
Currently, Saugeen Shores is responsible for winter maintenance on 47.8 lane kilometres of paved roads, 47.9 lane kilometres of unpaved roads, and 48 kilometres of sidewalks.
From October 1 to April 30, the town standard is to monitor the weather for the coming 24 hours, once every shift or three times daily, and from May to September the weather is monitored once daily.
Once the town determines that snow accumulations are greater than a depth set out in a table, it will deploy staff as soon as practicable to clear the snow. For example, a class one road should be cleared if more than 2.5 centimetres of snow accumulates in four hours. Tables also set out response times for clearing for treating icy roads, sidewalks and bike lanes.
When accumulations of piled snow impedes traffic on roads, it is trucked to two storage sites - the Peel St. works yard in Southampton and the works yard on Concession 6 in Port Elgin.
The town can declare a significant weather event with the potential to pose a significant danger to road users by listing notice on the town website, announcing it on social media, by press release, through notification to police.
If town Public Works staff determine a road should be closed for safety – due to a snowfall, windblown snow, freezing rain, frost or black ice - staff must notify Saugeen Shores Police Service to issue a road closure notice and erect signs warning drivers the road is closed.
The 2018 budget includes $599,777 for winter snow maintenance, a three per cent increase over the previous year.