Sanding crews working to keep Red Deer roads safe

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
November 22, 2018 - 4:33pm Updated: November 23, 2018 - 2:01pm

There are a lot of roads in Red Deer to take care of after a snowfall and The City wants you to know they’re doing the best they can.

There are 17 trucks and a crew of 40 who work to produce brine, load the sand and then head out onto Red Deer’s streets in a bid to make them safe.



“Six hundred kilometres of roads, and I’m not sure the math on that, but you can’t see 50 kilometres in a straight line, let alone on city streets,” says Doug Halldorson, Roads Superintendent. “We are out there. Our crews are on staff 24 hours a day throughout the winter.”

Halldorson, who says the job is actually satisfying in the sense that his team is working to get Red Deerians to wherever they’re going safely, gave a tour of The City’s sand facility to media on Thursday.

The City keeps 12000 tons of sand on hand, and used 7500 last year. So far this cold season, they’ve gone through justfive per cent .

This cold season, however, has actually been a milder one, which has caused more problems than one might think.

“This creates a lot of difficulties with freeze-thaw. With the daytime temperature above zero, it melts the snow, goes across the road, and then freezes,” he explains. “It’s a really challenging time of year, the transition from fall to winter, with a lot of freeze-thaw.”

When there is a snowfall of more than five centimetres, crews first work to plow hills, bridges and streets around the hospital – and they have eight hours to clear those areas.

Red routes, which includes arterial roads, are plowed within 72 hours of an eight centimetre accumulation. Plowing of the city’s 157 kilometres of neighbourhood streets, and 242 kilometres of quieter crescents and closes occurs after 10 centimetres of snowpack.

These are done using the snow zone system.

 “We want to let the citizens of Red Deer know that we have a lot of tools that we do use to manage our snow. We use sand, salt, our plow trucks,” Halldorson concludes. “We have different tools and we do keep the roads winter safe.”


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