Maple Ridge public works crews are ready to face whatever weather this winter brings to city streets.
But based on the latest predictions, they’ll have an easier time in the next few months.
According to the Northwest Weather Network, the service used by the City of Maple Ridge, no major snowfalls or deep freezes are anticipated.
“This year, they are predicting a much milder winter this year,” said city roads superintendent Walter Oleschak.
He said the service is forecasting three minor snow falls. “They’re not expecting anything like we had in the last year when we were blasted in February,” Oleschak said.
“Last February literally was a freak event, especially during an el nino. February alone probably gave us our average snowfall for the entire year,” Oleschak said.
Precipitation amounts this winter are also are expected to be average. “The information were given is that it’s going to be a much milder and dryer winter than we’re typically used to.”
But “We take that with a grain of salt, too,” he added.
Actually, he’s taking that with about 5,000 tonnes of grains of salt.
Maple Ridge this year just set up a new shed that will store 3,500 tonnes of road salt. “We’re starting to load that tent now so we’ll have 5,000 tonnes of salt in the yard this year,” he said.
Each year, the city budgets $300,000 for snow removal in Maple Ridge and has 13 vehicles to plow, salt and brine roads, two of which are new this year. One of those new vehicles is a smaller brining truck that will make it easier to get into side streets in suburbs like Silver Valley.
The city also a new, more efficient brine-making machine to mix salt and water to spray on to the roads to slow down road freezing.
Pitt Meadows budgeted $150,000 for 2019 to clear away the white stuff from roads and in parks. That’s an increase from the $108,000 allotted for snow removal in 2018.