In conversation with General Manager of Public Works, and with consideration to developing weather conditions, an executive decision has been made to initiate a city-wide plough out of all local streets as soon as possible. This decision is made outside of the Council-approved service level of 10cm accumulation.
Staff have monitored and responded to the current weather event over the past 24+ hours. Initial precipitation and temperature forecasts were not considered sufficient to significantly penetrate the snow packed local streets. In fact, as of late mid-morning, the snow pack on local streets was mostly i
ntact. As the day has progressed however, it has become clear that is no longer the case and the number and size of ‘slush’ ridges on the local streets is increasing significantly.
Staff had considered initiating a city-wide plough-out yesterday as a pre-emptive measure to manage the pending precipitation but were of the opinion the benefits of such action would be negligible given the general condition of local roads at that time.
Of concern at this moment is the extended cold spell anticipated to set upon the City in the next 12 hours. To not tend to the streets now may result in the slush ridges freezing in place posing a potential hazard to motorists and their vehicles, potentially making a number of streets impassable. Addressing such conditions after the fact will result in significantly higher costs being incurred and take much longer to achieve passable roadways.
Unfortunately, an outcome of this decision will be the creation of windrows across driveways that will be heavy and difficult for residents to remove. Staff are currently working with communications staff to alert the public of this intended activity. A key message will be to encourage the community to help one another deal with this burden. Public Works will do what is possible to assist those least able to manage this burden.