After 23 centimetres of snow followed by a couple of days of milder temperatures and bright, brilliant sunshine, snow removal operations have resumed! Mother Nature has been relentless this winter, and so has the Roads and Parking Services team. This winter season, Ottawa has received total of 308.5 centimetres of snow, higher than both the 3-year average of 192.2 centimetres and the 5-year average of 224.7 centimetres. With longer days on the horizon and the official start of spring in less than two weeks, the end of this winter season may be within our reach. But there is still work to do!
We recognize that snowbanks encroaching on our transportation network make it difficult to navigate when walking, driving and cycling; please know that crews are working as quickly as they can to provide relief by opening up our network. This week, our crews continue to focus on snowbank removal throughout the City. Since Sunday morning, 124 crews have been deployed to work on snow removal. Please be patient as this work takes time to complete. Teams will also be out addressing drainage issues caused by the melt and treating icy conditions on our sidewalks.
Snow Removal Operations at a Glance
In mid-January, Roads and Parking Services began its snow removal operations. However, at the end of January, after receiving a total of 204.9 centimetres of snow, the team kicked it into high gear. We knew winter wasn’t over yet, but had no idea that another 103 centimetres would fall in the four weeks that followed. That’s a lot of snow! Not to mention a snow squall, freezing rain, and snowfall warnings, plus an intense, fast-moving system that left 5 centimetres of snow in just an hour — you name it, Ottawa got it. To put the snowfall amount into perspective, Ottawa received 49 centimetres of snow in February 2022, which is half of what we saw this February!
What you Need to Know about Snow Removal Operations
- The focus this week is urban neighbourhoods, as well as arterial and collector roadways
- Crews cut back snowbanks to the curb line to open up the roadway width and also prioritize sightline issues and safety hazards at intersections, corners and pedestrian, school and railway crossings
- All operations are planned, scheduled by street segments, and prioritized by road classification and how narrow the road has become
Since it All Began – Snow Removal Accomplishments
- A total of 972 crews have been assigned to snow removal
- Removal of snowbanks from over 3.965 million curb metres - that’s equivalent to 3,965 kilometres of roadway!
- Removal of snowbanks from over 4,300 street segments
As snow removal operations are going on, we have also resumed temporary pothole repairs. The city has experienced 45 freeze thaw cycles and these fluctuating temperatures make for prime pothole making conditions. Ottawa winters are hard on our infrastructure, and this year in particular, we have seen an increased number of potholes. We will be taking advantage of the mild weather expected over the next few days, and residents can expect to see our pothole crews across the City. Since mid-February, more than 170 crews have been on the job and managed to bring this year’s fill total to 23,515 potholes.
For residents wishing to report a pothole, a service request can be created online.