TransLink preparing for snow this week

Salt bins, signs to be Maple Ridge bus loop

TransLink has plans in place to ensure its service remains safe, and as reliable as possible if winter weather hits.

Weather forecasts anticipated snow Tuesday, with a higher chance of snow and freezing conditions on Thursday.

The transportation company is trying to stay a step ahead by ensuring there are salt bins at all of its bus exchanges, including Haney Place in Maple Ridge.

If the white stuff sticks and freezes, TransLink will put out signs warning people it’s slippery.

As well, extra staff, such as security, SkyTrain attendants and transit supervisors, will be on standby.

In addition, the special “de-icer” SkyTrain is being prepared. However, SkyTrain shutdowns are not uncommon during snowfalls.

Closer into Vancouver, trolley wire de-icing trucks are prepared, and ready to apply de-icer to the 300-km trolley wire system if temperatures drop.

TransLink customers are also being advised to expect occasional service disruptions during the day and to dress for the weather.

Up to 10 centimetres of snow was expected in the eastern Fraser Valley on Tuesday.

Mainroad Lower Mainland Contracting, which clears Lougheed Highway, said crews will be on the highway until the roads are clear if there is a snowfall accumulation.

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows both prepare for a snowfall by spreading a salt-water brine mix on to the roads. That soaks into the pavement, forestalling freeze up.

Maple Ridge spokesperson Fred Armstrong said city crews started making the switch over to winter weather a month ago.

Five dump trucks with salt and sand spreaders have been fitted with plows and are ready to hit the road, focusing on the main routes.

Once those main roads are cleared, they’ll start clearing the secondary roads.

Salt and sand supplies have been stocked up and two new types of snowplows are also being used.

After last year’s snowy winter, the city is also is asking residents to shovel their sidewalks as soon as possible, and not wait for the rain to wash it away, which may or may not happen.

Shovelling and salting a sidewalk soon after a snow fall can prevent it from packing into ice, which is more difficult to remove.

According to the city’s bylaw, sidewalks have to be cleared by 10 a.m. the day after a snowfall.

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