With up to 20 centimeters of snow expected in the Lower Mainland, Langley’s road workers were getting ready and hitting the streets Friday morning.
“We just got our last shipment of salt in,” said Brian Edey, roads operations manager at the Township of Langley. That brings the Township’s stockpile up to 4,500 tons – more than they use in an entire winter most years.
Road crews have spent the day and a half before the snowfall spreading brine on major roads.
“That’s hopefully to prevent the snow binding to the asphalt,” Edey said.
In the Township, which has many more miles of road to clear than Langley City, there are 23 trucks and pieces of equipment that will be used to lay down salt, brine, and to plow snow as it builds up.
Workers have been called in for 12-hour shifts and crews are set to work 24 hours a day until the snowfall is over. Including mechanics, there will be 28 people working each shift to crew the trucks, as well as a few clerks on the phones to take calls from residents.
It’s a similar story in Langley City.
“We’ll be out there until all the streets are cleared,” said Rick Bomhof, the City’s director of engineering.
There are two dump trucks and three one-ton trucks driving for the City, salting and plowing. The City has also recently re-stocked its salt.
City crews will be working from Friday until the roads are black, Bomhof said.
Even with constant 24-hour road clearing, plows can’t be everywhere and roads can still be coated with snow, Bomhof warned.
“It depends on how intense it gets,” he said. “If you get a lot of snow at once, the roads can be treacherous until it’s cleared.”
Last year was one of the worst winters for snow and ice in more than a decade, Edey noted. The Township used 6,500 tons of salt through the season.
This year hasn’t been as bad, but between last spring and this winter, some new pieces of snow-clearing equipment were added to the Township’s garages.
Drivers got some good experience last year, and younger drivers have been getting training and ridealongs with the more experienced hands.
The snow means a temporary pause in pothole filling around the Township.