Several methods are used to achieve a safe and reliable mobility network. The goal is to use the right tool and method for the current and forecasted condition.
Plows and Graders
The City uses both front and underbelly mounted plows. Front mount plows allow for clearing of roads. Underbelly plows are used to break up snowpack. Graders are the most powerful pieces of equipment within our winter fleet, and most effective at snow removal. Graders are used during major snowfalls to clear main roadways.
Hand Tools (Shovels, brooms, blowers)
In tight, small or awkward spaces such as stairs, sidewalks, trails and bus shelters, basic shovels and brooms are used by hand crews. These tools are able to clear hard to reach or tight spaces.
Salt, Sand and Chip
The City applies a mix of sand/salt pre-wet with calcium chloride to roads to maintain traction and/or melt snow and ice. The exact mix varies according to temperature and conditions and can change quickly in response to shifting weather conditions.
Chip is typically only used at very low temperatures in snow-packed areas to provide traction. The City tries to use as little of this as possible.
Calcium chloride brine with a corrosion inhibitor is currently in use for several purposes:
- On City-maintained sidewalks, protected bike lanes and active mobility pathways (including shared use paths) when the conditions require
- As a pre-wetting agent for the sand/salt mix that is dispensed by sanding trucks and sidewalk plows, as it prevents the mixture from freezing prior to being dispensed, results in a more even dispensing of product (less clumping), and improves the adherence of the mixture to road surfaces