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Be patient, aware as road clean-up still underway in Lower Mainland

Last Updated Jan 16, 2020 at 1:14 pm PDT

File photo: Vehicles drive down Cambie St. in Vancouver on Jan. 15, 2020. (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 photo)

Municipal officials say they're working to try to get the secondary routes and the side-streets cleaned-up

But if the weather worsens, clean up will shift to priority routes

Fluctuating temperatures have caused some challenges for road clean-up crews

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The uptick in the temperature has turned this week’s snow into a slushy mess across many parts of the Lower Mainland and road crews are still dealing with a number of challenges in their clean-up efforts.

Municipal officials say they’re working on clearing the secondary routes and the side-streets as cleaned up as possible, particularly in the eastern portions of the region.

Alex Mitchell with the City of Abbotsford says while crews do their best to clean the streets, home-owners also need to do their part.

“We’re also asking residents to make sure they clear the sidewalks and the driveways where pedestrians would be needing to walk around so it’s safer,” she says.

Ray Kerr, Surrey’s Engineering manager, says the city is working on clearing the side-streets for the time being, unless weather changes.

“Once the weather turns, and we start getting snow or ice concerns — whether it be freezing rain, that’s been forecasted as well– all our equipment will move back to priority ones when that happens,” he says, adding he wants people to be patient as they clear the roads.

Mitchell says the plans will also shift in Abbotsford if the weather worsens to clear priority routes.

RELATED: Crews keep watch over Lower Mainland bridges, highways at risk of closures due to weather

And while road crews make headway on clearing the lanes, shoulders and on-and-off ramps along the major routes of snow, the melt is also creating challenges.

Darren Ell, GM of Mainroad Contracting in the Lower Mainland, says one area they’re going to be focusing on today is where the run-off begins to pool.

“We’re going to start looking at what we can do to get the snow away from the drains and away from the barrier. We may bring in some extra equipment to open up these drains a little bit better for us so when it does start melting we’re going to be ready for it,” he explains.

Ell emphasizes his crews will be out in full-force through the day and drivers need to be aware.

“When there’s black road out there and it’s relatively clear, people are still expecting to go the speed limit or more. We’re out there trying to make it safer for the people and they need to give us that space and that time to get the work done,” he says.

Though if the snow comes back, the main focus for crews is going to return to the major routes, meaning the road you live on might continue to be snow-bound for longer than you had hoped.