When the window fogs over, the backyard turns white, and the road becomes slippery is when you know it’s snowing. Whilst Edmontonians aren’t strangers to such weather, with local companies such as Capital Plumbing & Heating, offering deals for such inclement weather, it’s still inconvenient when it comes when you’re not prepared.
The inconveniently timed outburst of cold weather may not be totally inconvenient, if the local city Government says otherwise; preferring to see the silver lining in the sudden snowfall, and take the whole thing as an unexpected opportunity, using the weather as the perfect testing period for the latest in anti-icing methods.
The local road maintenance department is currently running the testing period for their new anti-icing units, not unlike those used by private companies and contractors. These units are capable of holding a considerable amount of the calcium-chloride based liquid used by the local government to prevent the falling snow from sticking to the pavement of roads, which causes them to become slippery and has lead to countless accidents.
According to Mr. Grame Douglas, from Carmacks Maintenance Service, a company that utilizes the substance, and the units, themselves, the calcium-chloride product behaves similarly to cooking spray.
Mr. Douglas also described the new units. According to him, the units have rear nozzles which spray the substance onto the road in such a wide swath that, most of the time, two lanes are covered in a single pass of the road.
The city government has stated that the whole idea behind all of these things is to be pre-emptive; to spray the streets with the liquid calcium product, with an addition of a corrosion inhibitor, to prevent detrimental road conditions from popping up during the snow.
According to a local government spokesperson, John Potter, the preliminary results have been promising. The substance works, giving the local government, as well as the Edmontonians, time to work with the road.
The testing phase has been focused on three specific areas:
- Yellowhead Trail
- Albery Trail: from 156 Street to the Yellowhead and Calgary Trail, and
- Gateway Boulevard from 19 Avenue to Whitemud Drive.
Whether or not this system will stay however, will be determined by the city council review this June.
Local Edmontonians will be pleased to hear that it’s not only local businesses, such as Capital Plumbing & Heating, that are preparing for snowy days.