City administration to recommend continuing snow ridge program at July meeting
Snow blowing across a rural road. (File image)
Published Monday, July 8, 2019 1:44PM CST
The City of Regina is set to recommend the continuation of a program meant to stop blowing snow from drifting on rural roads near the outskirts of the city.
The new program has replaced the previous snow fencing program over the past few years, as the city has transitioned mostly to “snow-windowing”, also called “snow-ridging” in an effort to save money and create a more efficient process.
“Historically, the City’s winter maintenance staff would install wooden snow fences at various locations throughout the community,” the report going before the Public Works and Infrastructure committee later this week reads. “These locations were generally on the rural roads on the outskirts of the city, newly developed open areas, or known trouble spot locations where the snow drifts would affect traffic flow.”
In the 2017 budget, a decision to end the Snow Fence Program was made due to the effectiveness of the ridges during checks made by maintenance crews.
The ridges were also found to be cheaper and took less work to maintain, as snow fencing has to be removed in the spring and reinstalled ahead of the winter.
Regardless of the method used, crews still found some snow was blowing over any barrier at some intersections, especially during the cold, wind-filled winter earlier this year.
A snow fence program would need to cover around 30,000 feet or just over 9 kilometres of open areas surrounding known trouble-spots, at a cost of over $100,000 for the fencing alone.
The report also says the snow ridge program reduces the city’s dependence on single-use plastic fencing.
Other potential options include raising awareness about the snow ridge program with residents, using the strategic planting of trees, shrubs and wildflowers to create a “living snow fence” or hiring a third party to install snow fences at an estimated cost of $45,000 yearly.
The recommendation will be made to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday and is expected to go before council on July 29.