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Facts About Winter Road Maintenance in Scugog

With the recent winter weather, it is a great time to share some information about how the Township provides road maintenance during and after storms.

The Township of Scugog provides winter maintenance for 826 lane kilometers of road.  Most of the service is provided by a day shift that works 7:00 am to 3:30 pm but usually begins work at 4:00 am when there is a winter weather event. There are 15 operators working on the day shift and each is assigned a plow route. The timing to complete a salting/sanding operation is 5 to 6 hours. The timing to complete a full plowing operation is 8 to 12 hours depending on the amount of snow. There is also an evening shift with two operators that patrol the roads and treat the high priority roads. These staff work from 6:30 pm to 3:00 am. On weekends and holidays, roads are patrolled by two part-time staff and when necessary, operators are called in to work to plow or sand/salt roads.

The Township of Scugog also clears select sidewalks within the community. The standard level of service for sanding/plowing is at least once within 24 hours after a typical winter storm event. You can view the sidewalks that the Township clears here; any sidewalks not included in this route are up to the property owner to clear. Service levels for sidewalks will also be enhanced this year to include plowing for the sidewalks beside Palmer Park as well as the new Lakefront Skate and Market.

For safety reasons, it is important when clearing sidewalks not to place the snow/ice immediately beside or blocking access to a fire hydrant, anywhere that would block drainage to any catchbasin, ditch, or culvert, or on the roads. You can also help keep sidewalks clear of ice and snow by parking vehicles away from sidewalks, removing items or structures close to the sidewalk (e.g. planters, bins, etc.), and blowing or pushing snow onto your own property and not on the sidewalk or road.

While every winter storm is different, during a winter snow event our crews will plow roads during the day and evenings and then after the snow has stopped, crews will come in the next morning at 4:00 am to clear all roads.

The Township follows and usually exceeds the Minimum Maintenance Standards regulation that requires services levels as shown below.

Scugog Road Priority Road Type Time to Clear Snow
Priority 1 Class 3 Roads, Arterial Roads and EMS Locations 12 hours from when the snow reaches 8 cm depth
Priority 2 Class 4 Roads, Collector Roads and Designated Bus Routes 16 hours from when the snow reaches 8 cm depth
Priority 3 Class 5 and 6 Roads and Local Roads

24 hours from when the snow reaches10 cm depth

Some of the most frequent questions we receive are:

Why hasn’t my road been plowed yet?

Crews start plowing roads when sufficient snow has accumulated to warrant plowing.  As noted, each route can take 5 or more hours to complete so your road may have been plowed early in the storm although it may be hard to tell since more snow has fallen. Crews will return later during the snow event or the following morning once the snow has ended.

Why doesn’t the Township clear the windrow at the end of driveways?

The Township does not provide this service as it does not have enough staff and equipment available to clear windrows.

Why does the Township sand/salt a road and then come along and plow it all off?

During a snowstorm, we apply sand/salt to the road surface early in the storm. This causes a melting action that prevents snow that falls later from freezing to the road surface. When the plow comes along, the road gets cleaned down to the pavement and we do not get a frozen snowpack that is very difficult and expensive to remove later.

Why is the plow driving with the blade up?

There are several reasons why a plow might be travelling with the blade up:

  • The plow is heading to and from routes.
  • Sand/Salt was recently put on that section of road, so plow drivers will lift the blades in order to not scrape off the freshly laid sand/salt.
  • When the plows are applying sand/salt pre or early in a storm, the blades will be up.
  • The plow is travelling on a road not under our jurisdiction.
  • The plow can be damaged or out of service.

Why does the Township use sand instead of salt on rural roads?

The Township uses a pickled sand mix with 12% salt on the rural roads. The Township has used salt on a trial basis on some of our rural hard surfaced roads and it resulted in damage and potholing to the roads. We have also confirmed with other municipalities that a mixed sand is the best practice for hard surfaced roads and it meets Ontario Provincial standards.

What can I do to help keep roads clear of snow and ice?

You can help by following these winter tips:

  • Keep cars off the street (even if it's not actively snowing).
  • Please be patient while you wait for you street to be cleared.
  • Give snowplows plenty of space and never pass a working snowplow.
  • Always check weather and road conditions before heading out and leave extra time if necessary.
  • Remove items such as bins, basketball nets, steel stakes and planters away from the edge of your driveway.
  • Do not blow or push snow onto or across the road as this is a contravention of the Highway Traffic Act and creates safety hazards for driving or walking.
  • Pile snow on the right side of your driveway (as you face the street) so that the cleared snow does not get moved back into your driveway by the snowplow.
  • Clear snow away from hydrants so they are available in an emergency.
  • Clear snow away from catchbasins to prevent flooding issues.
  • Do not place snow or ice in a ditch or anywhere it may obstruct a culvert or other drainage outlets.

Additional information on Winter Maintenance is available on our 'Snowplowing and Winter Operations' page, by emailing or calling 905-985-7346 Ext. 112.

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