What's the difference between snow plowing and snow removal?
On snow plowing routes, snow is plowed to the side of the road and occurs primarily on arterial roads where there are no driveways facing the road.
Snow removal routes are in residential areas. Snow is plowed to the middle of the road, in windrows, so that we do not block residential driveways with plowed snow. Windrowed snow is then removed by truck.
Snow removal starts after a heavy snowfall or large accumulation of snow. It involves snow first being plowed into windrows on roads designated as Snow Removal Priority Routes and then hauled away by truck.
Where does all that snow go when it's hauled away?
After snow has been plowed into windrows, it is hauled to one of two designated snow dump sites in the city:
- at the north end of University Drive
- east of the Lethbridge Exhibition grounds.
These sites meet provincial and federal environmental regulations, and they are designed to handle the amount of snow that Lethbridge gets in a typical winter. Each site has been designed and constructed specifically to store snow and includes:
- a mesh liner under a gravel pad
- a storage pond for snow melt
- grading to ensure that melting snow run off only into the storage pond
Snow Fencing & Drifting Snow
Blowing and drifting snow can cause problems for drivers, pedestrians and City of Lethbridge work crews. It can blind drivers, cause delays and make it harder for plows to keep roads clear. For these reasons, the City of Lethbridge installs approximately 17 km of snow fencing each year in areas where blowing and drifting snow can cause problems.
Snow drifts that make roads, sidewalks, or pathways impassable are cleared according to the priorities outlined above.