Edmonton catching up to snow

<p>City crews are slowly chipping away with its snow removal after this week’s deep freeze storm, but Edmonton’s top road maintenance boss says it hasn’t snowed enough to warrant plowing residential streets.</p>

 



 

 

Marc Bence/for metro edmonton

 

A pair of graders scrape the roads north of downtown on 107 Street yesterday. City officials say they won’t be heading into residential neighbourhoods until there is more snow to plow.





City crews are slowly chipping away with its snow removal after this week’s deep freeze storm, but Edmonton’s top road maintenance boss says it hasn’t snowed enough to warrant plowing residential streets.



Barry Belcourt, director of city roadway maintenance, says snow removal this month has so far eaten up about $7 million of January’s $12.6 million budget for city snow removal.



Each 24-hour day during the storm has cost the city $1.2 million Belcourt said.



"We’re seeing 30 per cent less snow than what we saw last January, but we’re still going out there and plowing," said Belcourt.



Belcourt says crews will be out in the next few nights getting rid of windrows — the piles of snow in the middle of the roads.



Residential roads don’t meet the city’s criteria for removal, but with the drifting, crews will deal with problem areas, says Belcourt.



Transit riders are also noticing better service as chilly 30-minute delays are now down to 10 minutes, says Mike Derbyshire, of Edmonton Transit. Express buses continue to pick up passengers at non-express stops to keep people out of the cold.



"Our service levels are starting to get closer to normal as our drivers are getting used to driving in these conditions," said Derbyshire.



Environment Canada says the cold snap will continue with the chance of flurries for the next four days as temperatures slowly rise to -17C by Sunday.




jeff.cummings@metronews.ca



 
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