Calgary’s roads department has switched over to winter operations mode as the city continues to experience a snowy October.
This means the city is deploying staff and equipment as they would during the dead of winter.
“[Switching to winter operations mode] is something that technically just happened today,” said Tara Norton-Merrin with the City of Calgary roads department.
The city began to lay salt on city roads as the flakes began to fly Monday morning.
“We’ve had it on our radar that we were likely to get snow Monday and Tuesday this week,” she said. “So in advance of any snow, crews did go out and put salt down on a lot of the roadways, particularly the trouble spots like hills and bridge decks.”
By Monday afternoon, most of the snow was melting on impact, she said, but the challenge will be the overnight hours.
“[The] progress the crews will make will largely depend on when the snow falls, so if the majority of the snow falls later tonight [or] early in the morning, the crews should be able to clean it up before the A.M. rush,” she said.
“However, it’s looking like we might get the vast majority of that around 5 or 6 a.m. in the morning, which of course is going to create some challenges for our crews because they’ll be stuck in the same traffic as everyone else in the rush hour.”
Norton-Merrin added that sidewalks will be cleared a lot quicker this year, thanks to an increase in council funding.
“Council did approve one-time funding of $9 million to get the sidewalks done quicker,” she said. “We now clear them on Day 1, so that’s within 24 hours of when the snow starts falling.”
Businesses and homeowners are still expected to clear their own sidewalks within 24 hours of a snowfall, she said.
As always, it’s important for drivers to check conditions before they hit the roads Tuesday morning, Norton-Merrin added.
“We really appreciate Calgarians’ patience,” she said.