Snowplow in a snowstorm on Wellington Street in Ottawa, January 23, 2019.
Jean Levac / Postmedia News
With yet another major snowfall in the forecast — up to 40 cm in some areas — city crews are preparing to spend much of Tuesday and Wednesday keeping the roads as navigable as possible for Ottawans. But if it’s possible, city staff says you should consider staying home.“I’m expecting the Wednesday morning commute to be very, very difficult,” Luc Gagné, director of roads and parking services said on Monday. Tuesday was forecasted to start clear, with snow beginning midday and continuing into Wednesday, accumulating between 30 and 40 cm. The city was calling for “snow covered, icy, slushy and slippery” road and sidewalk conditions Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday. If that isn’t enough to make staying home sound like a good idea, Environment Canada also warned against travelling Wednesday. Related “Avoid travel if possible,” the weather agency said Monday. “Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations.When the snow starts, the city said it will deploy combo plow trucks and begin plowing and salting operations on arterial roads. Resources will be spread over the remainder of the transportation network as dictated by weather and road conditions.When the snowfall ends, city deadlines start: major roads, arterials and major collectors should be cleared within four hours, minor collector roads in six hours, and residential roads and lanes in 16 hours. Sidewalks should be cleared in six to 16 hours, depending on their location.To those residents dealing with outstanding plowing and winter maintenance issues, Gagné was sympathetic. “I don’t mean to minimize local residential streets, they’re truly important.” But, he said, an exceptionally snowy and icy winter had made clearing slow and difficult work. “Unfortunately someone’s first and someone’s last.”Gagné said city crews have been working non-stop, without a day off, since Jan. 12 to clear the transportation network. In advance of Tuesday’s storm, they took salt deliveries on the weekend — an unusual practice — and had been liaising with their contractors to make sure everyone is ready when the first flakes fall.Anyone with a snow removal issue is directed to the city’s online reporting portal. Emergency requests can be phoned in to 311.ALSO IN THE NEWS:Hintonburger moves on — to somewhereSubcommittee likes heritage protection plan for major redevelopment of Booth Street complexCity of Ottawa’s architect panel underwhelmed by tower project plans at Gladstone