The City of Winnipeg has bulked up its fleet to clear snow faster this winter.
The city has added 15 new sidewalk clearing machines that will allow operators to clear away snow on priority one and two sidewalks within 36 hours.
That time frame outlined in the city’s snow clearing policy was often surpassed in previous years, officials say, especially when the city was hit with back-to-back helpings of snow.
“We are excited that we have the resources now to provide the service as per the policy,” said Michael Cantor, the city’s manager of streets maintenance.
“Hopefully, we’ll have a much better service during this winter.”
The $3.7 million machinery’s purchase was approved last year by city council as an addition to the snow and ice removal budget.
Forty additional operators were trained over the summer to work the equipment.
Also new this year, the threshold to start clearing has been lowered to five centimetres of snow, down from eight.
Cantor says that’s an enhancement of service for sidewalks and pathways.
“We don’t have to wait for any further accumulation on all our residential streets. We, on an average event, will be going and plowing all sidewalks and pathways within the city.”
Cantor warns machinery can break down, especially in extreme cold. Plus, with so many new operators, they’ll have to ensure everyone is following proper procedures.
“We hope that won’t affect us that much, and they will end up providing the service as we planned.”
– With files from CTV’s Jon Hendricks