Roads Services is responsible for the City’s snow and ice control program. It is committed to helping make Ottawa’s roads, sidewalks and cycling network safe and passable for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. An effective winter maintenance program is essential to allow the City to function under normal winter weather conditions.
Winter Weather Update - Thursday November 26 - 9 pm
We’ve been hearing from residents who have questions about why we chose not to plow residential roads today. We wanted to explain how and why we made that decision.
Over the past 30 hours, our City received a mixed bag of weather. Snow, freezing rain and rain were all part of the mix. Overnight Sunday into Monday, our vehicles were out plowing and treating main roads, sidewalks and the winter cycling network to make them safe ahead of the morning commute. Since then, our focus has been on cleaning up, ensuring sidewalks were open and safe for residents and laying down salt and abrasives.
Since last night, temperatures have been rising. The warm road and air temperatures, combined with the salt and wet snow work together to melt the snow. Throughout the day we have seen the snow accumulation reduced. As the temperatures are expected to continue rising, we expect any snow remaining on the road will melt completely. Our teams will continue to travel throughout our residential communities to treat the roads, sidewalks and cycling network and to promote the further melting of snow and to ensure they are safe.
The decision not to undertake a residential plow run was carefully considered. We reviewed many things including road temperatures, air temperature and forecasted weather. Based on the information we have from our forecasters, the warm temperatures will support the snow melting and not freezing. We understand conditions were sloppy for residents today, it will be short-lived and the melting snow should drain from the roads.
We also considered the impact of our heavy vehicles on our infrastructure. With no frost in the ground, each time we run our vehicles in residential communities, we risk damaging roadways and lawns. Mother Nature is stepping in to help us clear the roads in a safe way.
What has made this storm different than our Monday weather event is the temperature. On Monday, we had to make the roads, sidewalks and cycling network safe ahead of the dropping temperatures. We cleared the roads of the water and snow ahead of a night time freeze. Leaving it on the road could have posed a safety risk. The risk today, when the temperatures are expected to rise to 5 degrees Celsius overnight is much less.
Our teams will be working through the night to address drainage issues and to respond if temperatures drop.
We appreciate the support of all residents who are actively clearing their catch basins to help that water to drain off the road, allowing our roads to clear faster.