Despite dozens upon dozens of comments from Airdrie residents voicing their frustration at what they perceived as a lack of road maintenance after the large dump of snow the city and the surrounding areas saw last Friday, the Roads Team Lead for the city, Mike Avramenko, underlined that the city's road crews have been and continue to work 24/7.
Avramenko explained that the heavy snowfall on Friday was dealt with like any other snowfall event in the city. He said the road crews were out on Friday, but with the extreme fluctuation in temperatures from Thursday through Friday, made for difficult working conditions.
"Ultimately, what happens is when the snow event leaves, you're dealing with, first of all trying to remove the majority of the snow and trying to keep the roads open and then you're also dealing with the snowpack that's left behind and we're doing what we would normally do and that's apply traction material," he said. "And yes [it may] sometimes feel like there's not enough but when you really look at the extreme of the event, and how fast it came and left - ultimately, there's no magic bullet - you're going to just have to deal with the way the road conditions are."
Over this past weekend, many Airdronians had commented on various social media platforms that many of the city's main roads, including Yankee Valley Boulevard, as well as 8 Street heading towards the Balzac roundabout - with reports of multiple cars in the ditch, were sheer ice. However, Avramenko added that city crews were indeed working on the weekend.
"We had additional staff come in to utilize all the equipment. We have seven sanding trucks and two graders and two loaders. All the sanding trucks were out and the graders were out doing all the rural roads and opening the gravel roads up as well. All of the equipment was out and working on the priority routes."
He added that when temperatures are extremely cold the sanding material may stop becoming effective.
"It just gets embedded in, so when they go round and round, it's like they're doing nothing but they actually they're out there sanding."
When asked what his response would be to those who have made comparisons about the fact that roads in Calgary, especially the Northern Calgary city limits seem to have been reported to be in better condition, Avramenko said he disagreed with the assessment.
"I think most people in general just have to lower some of the expectations and allow the crews to do the work. Again, there's no magic bullet that we can make the roads bare and dry in an event of that magnitude."
On Monday, January 30, the city took to social media to explain the city's priority system for snow clearing and sanding.
Avramenko estimates that over the weekend the city received 35-40 requests for the sanding of roads, which he says is neither more nor less than any other snowfall event in the city, including the large dump of snow that the city's residents saw before Christmas last month.
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