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Winter Response Update

January 5, 2015 -

With the precipitation we received overnight, roads and streets required additional attention. The accompanying strong winds however, helped to dry those same roads and streets, providing mostly good driving conditions for this morning commute. As some isolated slippery spots may still be present, motorists should watch for these sections and continue to drive with caution.... Staff have been assigned to spot sanding operations today to address these locations.

Sidewalks this morning are icy. Sidewalk scraping operations continued through last evening until dropping temperature changed the focus to sanding operations. As the sidewalk sanders have limited capacity to carry sand, the sander units on the sidewalk plows have to be frequently replenished. This reduces what can be addressed over a shift.

It should be noted that while roads and streets are raised in the middle to allow water to drain to the road shoulder or street curb, sidewalks are flat, only five feet wide, and typically have plowed snow banks on both sides. With melting conditions or as with yesterday's freezing rain and rain, water tends to collect on the sidewalks, which are often slow to drain away and not as quick to dry as the road or street surfaces.

The above was the case yesterday and overnight with sidewalks remaining wet, despite best efforts to scrape sidewalks clean. As a result, the major focus for today is sidewalk sanding. Public works staff are working on sidewalks in Kingston central and west areas. Our winter sidewalk contractor is carrying out similar operations in Kingston east. Additionally, bus stops are being checked and sanded as required. These sanding operations may extend into tonight.

Somewhat but not totally unrelated to the winter weather just experienced, crews are working today to clear outdoor rinks, so that flooding operations can begin as soon as possible.