Mayor Linda Hepner says Surrey is more than ready for snow.
The city has ordered a new piece of equipment to clear sidewalks as part of a pilot project this year, the mayor revealed.
“If this is the way winters could potentially look forever, then we have got to find a better way to deal with sidewalks,” she said, referring to last year’s record-breaking snowfall.
During a 44-day cold snap from Dec. 4, 2016 to Jan. 16, 2017 temperatures in Surrey were at or below zero degrees Celsius, the longest duration of freezing temperatures since 1984. And more snow fell in the city after that.
“Hopefully it’s not the look of all of our future winters but if it is, I think it we’re ready.”
The new tool is essentially a small unit that can plow sidewalks with ease, she explained.
But this doesn’t mean residents are off the hook.
Surrey residents are still responsible for clearing off their sidewalks every year.
“This unit will be used in the City Centre areas along key sidewalk linkages,” explained Surrey’s operations manager, Ray Kerr. “We will be using one unit this winter in our program and will look to expand the number of units if the pilot program is successful.”
And if you were one of many Surrey residents frustrated with your road never getting cleared last year, you may be in luck.
“Normally, we only do arterial roads and then the more significant local roads,” Hepner said. “The neighbourhood roads, generally, at end of three, four, fives days are melted so we haven’t had to think about doing that. After last year we now have to think about that. So we’re also now going to be doing first arterial, then local collectors, then neighbourhood roads.”
The city is also armed with 63 pieces of snow-clearing equipment, she said, and there are “a couple of contractors on deck.”
And, the city has 14,000 tonnes of road salt this year.
“Now I would just be urging everybody to get their snow tires,” Hepner said.
“I got mine last week, so I’m ready.”