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November 2017 - Roads

We've had a number of frosty mornings over the last few weeks and while I hear we are in for a more moderate winter, I'm certain we will get our share of winter blasts over the next few months. A reminder to use caution and patience when driving and remember that our snow plow operators are out to ensure that we get to and from our destinations as safely possible.

For this instalment of my blog, I thought it was fitting to provide some background on our signficant and vital plow and transportation operations.

  • We maintain more than 1,800 lane kilometres of County roads to manage and clear on a given day
  • We have 38 plows as part of our County fleet that operate out of five County transportation garages located in Midhurst, Beeton, Orr Lake, Creemore and Ramara
  • In 2016, our staff responded to 403 winter events (which involves clearing of snow, salting and sanding), that averages out to 81 events per garage. This number fluctuates each year with 2015 totals being 357 events and 60 per garage
  • In 2016 staff applied 20,856 tonnes of salt and 59,917 tonnes of sand to our roads
  • Since 2012 we have used more than 113,000 tonnes of salt and almost 365,000 tonnes of sand to keep our roads safe and sound for driving
  • There is quite a bit of science that goes into road maintenance. In 2016 Transportation Maintenance and IT staff collaborated on a program to install reader technology in each of our plow units. The technology is comprised of a data logger, connecting cords and plow and wing sensors allowing staff to capture actual data from the plow units and use this data to analyse the operations to become more efficient and effective. The data loggers were connected to the electronic spreader controls that control the application of winter solids and liquid de-icers and measured the application rates, speed of the vehicle, type of materials and min and max rates for the run as well as the start and end time of each run. The temperature sensors were connected and measure the road and air temperature to assist us in assessing our work and application of materials

Our plow operators and transportation staff to do a tremendous job of keeping our roads clear, goods and services flowing and our residents as safe as possible on even the most treacherous winter days. They will be out in full force soon and we wish everyone a safe winter season on our roads.

Gerry Marshall
Simcoe County Warden