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.
Road conditions update: Please respect crews and barriers, avoid driving if you can but if you need to drive make sure you have the right tires and be prepared for delays. Residents are encouraged to move cars from major routes when plowing is required. #Snow #CityofVancouver pic.twitter.com/UdQeqWZIsm
— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) January 16, 2020
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.
Clean-up day continues! Crews worked through the night and continue to work at full capacity. With Priority 1 roads clear, we’re currently clearing and salting Priority 2 & 3 routes, with all 39 equipment dispatched. We’ve now placed 8,000 tonnes of salt on City roads. pic.twitter.com/PHmz1fsrwU
— City of Surrey (@CityofSurrey) January 16, 2020
“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.
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.
Crews get up, way up, to reload the cable collar system on the #PortMannBridge this morning. We’ll be dropping the collars, as needed, to address accumulation on the bridge cables.
How do you know it’s cold? Look at the ice in the river. #BCHwy1 #Coquitlam #SurreyBC pic.twitter.com/lLbh5SL2N5
— BC Transportation (@TranBC) January 16, 2020
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.
Crews are also working on #FraserValley side roads, widening ramps & plowing shoulders.
Please slow down & give maintenance vehicles plenty of room to work. pic.twitter.com/AcAGJrPztz
— Emil Anderson Maintenance Co. Ltd. (@EAMOperations) January 16, 2020
“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.