Crews working to clear and sand roads, police dealing with numerous collisions
Published Monday, January 21, 2013 4:42PM MST
Last Updated Monday, January 21, 2013 6:28PM MST
Road maintenance crews were scrambling to make city streets a little easier to handle Monday, after reports flooded in over numerous rush-hour collisions in the morning left a number of commuters stuck in traffic.
A number of collisions were reported throughout the city – police said weather might have contributed to many of them, as drivers attempted to get traction on icy streets, covered by a few centimetres of overnight snowfall, and a number of motorists were driving too fast.
The treacherous road conditions were causing problems outside of the city as well.
Strathcona County RCMP issued a warning Monday afternoon, saying roads in the Sherwood Park area were icy – and police had dealt with more than a dozen collisions.
In northern Alberta, RCMP once again had to partially close Highway 63 because of a fatal collision – drivers were being diverted at the Atmore Junction (Highway 55) onto Highway 881.
RCMP said in that collision, the driver of a northbound pickup truck lost control and collided with a soutbound tractor trailer. The driver of the northbound vehicle died on the scene.
There was no word on when traffic would be allowed to travel through the area again.
Back in Edmonton, crews were working to clear the roads – the Director of Roadway Maintenance said although this month has not seen a single major snowfall, the plows are still catching up on snowfalls from December.
“This winter has been a good test of our abilities,” Bob Dunford said.
As of late Monday afternoon, a city-wide parking ban had not been announced – snow plows and sanders were concentrating on arterial roads and collector bus routes.
However, Dunford said if much more snow falls this week, Edmontonians could be in for another parking ban – which would put a damper on ongoing efforts to clear windrows that have built up on residential bus routes.
“This morning we were at the 40 percent mark, so we’re right on target of three weeks,” Dunford said. “I’d like to keep it that way.”
As for Monday’s snowfall, most of it was over by mid-afternoon, but more is expected Wednesday – CTV Edmonton meteorologist said it’s not clear how much will fall.
“We’ll see,” Meteorologist Josh Classen said. “Could be five centimetres of snow, could be two centimetres of snow.”
Regardless of what the weather holds this week, the city, RCMP and Edmonton Police are reminding drivers to slow down, and drive according to road conditions.
“When you get these cold temperatures, with snowfall, even though we’re working to clear it off it does get slippery at intersections,” Dunford said.
With files from Ashley Molnar