A look a Castlegar’s snow removal policies

A summary of snow clearing priorities and policies within the City of Castlegar

The white stuff has made its presence known throughout the area the last few weeks making it time to revisit Castlegar’s snow removal plan and to remind everyone to drive with more caution.

The City of Castlegar has the task of removing snow and ice from about 90 kilometres of roads and 20 km of sidewalks. To accomplish this large task, the city has eight plow trucks including a new 2016 International single axle plow truck with three-way sander that was added to the arsenal this year.

Castlegar has developed a snow removal plan which includes setting priority routes and goals for how soon the routes should be cleared. Routes designated as priorities one and two will normally be completed within 12 hours after a snow storm depending on snowfall rates and duration.

Priority one is Columbia Ave. and Arrow Lakes Dr. from 18th St. to the pulp mill and saw mill and collector and residential streets with hills having grades greater than nine per cent.

Priority two is access to emergency service buildings (hospital, fire hall, ambulance, police), collector streets/avenues, access to schools, commercial/industrial areas, downtown core sidewalks.

Priority three is made up of all remaining residential streets, snow hauling from central business areas, street widening and access to water and sewer facilities and hydrants.

Priority four is lanes, remaining sidewalks, city owned parking lots, bus stops/turnouts and the remainder of snow hauling.

The city asks residents to help by removing unused vehicles, boats, trailers, basket ball nets, etc. from streets and removing snow and ice from sidewalks fronting their properties as well as parking vehicles off streets while snow removal is in progress.

Residents should not shovel, plow or blow snow from driveways onto streets — snow should be removed to the right side of the driveway (facing the street), to reduce the amount of snow deposited across driveways during street clearing operations. Residents also should not place steel posts or rocks as markers or they will be held liable for injuries or equipment damage.

Castlegar’s director of transportation and civic works Chris Barlow also suggests residents that live adjacent to fire hydrants help with keeping the hydrant clear so there are no delays in the case of an emergency. He also encourages people to look after their neighbours, especially with windrows left in driveways by snow plows. “If you have an elderly neighbour, or someone who has trouble shovelling their windrow — if everybody would chip in and give a hand,” said Barlow.

If you are the recipient of some snow clearing help, make sure and nominate your helper for a Snowbusters Award — a city initiative to recognize winter Samaritans.

The Castlegar Snow Phone can be reached 24 hours a day for snow removal related inquiries or to report hazards by calling 250-365-7244.