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City plows on with snow removal

Snow removal crews began attacking St. Albert's collector roads Thursday afternoon after finishing the city's residential streets.

Snow removal crews began attacking St. Albert's collector roads Thursday afternoon after finishing the city's residential streets.

Crews will now focus on busier streets, trying to clear as much of the remaining ice and snow as possible to smooth out rutted portions, improve drivability and improve sightlines at intersections, said Dan Rites, acting director of St. Albert's public works department.

"Snow accumulations and ice build-up have created some challenges for motorists," Rites said in a press release.

As part of its overall snow clearing efforts, the city is also continuing to plow city sidewalks and trails, and clear parking lots, transit stops and snow piles from residential areas, Rites said.

The city will provide residents with as much notice as possible on when snow operations will occur in their neighbourhoods but a great deal of notice is not always possible, Rites said.

The city is asking residents to watch for snow removal signs in their neighbourhoods and to park their vehicles in their driveways or garages instead of on the streets until the snow removal signs are removed.

The public can find out more by visiting the city website at or by calling 780-459-1557.

Budget stretched

The city budgets for one complete residential clearing a year and two clearings of collector roads. It's already completed two residential clearings this winter but it would be premature to assume that the snow clearing efforts are over budget, said Glenn Tompolski, who oversees public works and planning and engineering.

"Although we did it twice in a six-week period, it's over two calendar years," Tompolski said. "All the snow clearing we did before Christmas was on last year's budget."

There's money in the budget for the work the city is now doing but it remains to be seen what impact the recent snow deluge will have on the bottom line.

"There's no question it's going to be a tighter budget year in terms of snow operations because of the amount we're doing now but to what extent I don't know yet," Tompolski said. "We'll have a better idea at the end of the month once we get the clearing completely done."


Snow related complaints to the city's bylaw enforcement branch are keeping officers busy, said Stu Fraser, supervisor of peace officer programs.

The most common complaint involves unattended snowfall creating hazardous conditions, he said.

"We're even getting complaints about neighbours throwing snow over their fences into others' backyards," he said. "We're getting some complaints about shovelling snow onto city streets, causing navigational nightmares."

Despite the added volume of complaints, his officers haven't issued many tickets, he said.

"If people are willing to voluntarily comply we're not laying charges," Fraser said.

Officers have also warned about 70 vehicle owners to move their vehicles so snow clearing can proceed, he said.

Treacherous driving

The number of traffic collisions in St. Albert has taken a steep upswing during the weeks of heavy snow. As of Jan. 19 there were 137 collisions so far this month, said Cst. Janice Schoepp of the St. Albert RCMP.

"Way more than the usual, definitely," she said.

Snow clearing in your neighbourhood

Neighbourhood snow removal will occur in the following order but deviations may occur to address shifting priorities and conditions in other areas.

1. Kingswood

2. Pineview / Parkwood

3. Woodlands

4. North Ridge

5. Mission

6. Erin Ridge

7. Forest Lawn

8. Heritage Lakes

9. Lacombe Park

10. Lacombe Park Estates

11. Sturgeon

12. Braeside

13. Akinsdale

14. Oakmont / Inglewood

15. Deer Ridge

16. Grandin

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