News Online: Nearly 50% of neighbourhoods cleared

Published online at on January 31, 2011.

Linda Hoang, Global News: Monday, January 31, 2011

Nearly 50% of neighbourhoods cleared

The city says residential snow plowing is on track to be fully completed by the end of the week.

By Monday, 133 out of the 270 neighbourhoods in Edmonton had been cleared and the city says all residential areas will be cleared by Saturday.

“Midnight on February 5, that was our target and we’re on target to meet that,” Bob Boutilier, the city’s transportation manager, said Monday.

Ten extra graders are now working with the city’s crews to complete residential clearing this week.

The city’s 110 graders will be working on 63 neighbourhoods today.

Boutilier said that the city will also look at training other city workers to operate graders.

“One of the things we would look at would be to train a number of city people who don’t normally run graders, who operate other heavy equipment, and have them ready to go,” he said. “If we needed an additional 20-30 graders we could get those graders that are sitting around doing nothing and use our resources to get the job done.”

It’s estimated that $10 million has been used so far in January for snow clearing, a number higher than what the city would normally spend.

“Normally we would be at $5 to $6 million,” Dunford said.

The city did a complete overhaul to their snow clearing strategy after receiving more than 18,000 complaints from residents dealing with almost impassable roads.

Last week, Mayor Stephen Mandel apologized for the slow snow-removing process.

The apology was followed by an update to the city’s website to include a detailed list of neighbourhood clearing schedules, something that has helped lower the number of complaints.

“That’s made a big difference,” Boutilier said. “That kind of calling has gone down considerably.”

It was also announced Monday that the poundmaker snow dump site at 185 Street and 107 Avenue has been closed for at least the next few days because of excess snow, but the other three snow sites in the city will remain open.

Click here to check the status of your neighbourhood.

Click here to read the article on the Global Edmonton website.

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