Public Service Commission
Government garages gearing up for winter
Government garages have been busier than Santa’s workshop as crews ready for the first major snowstorms of the winter and repair the damaged caused by last week’s deluge of rain.
Record amounts of rain fell, washing out bridges and highway shoulders, presenting unique challenges.
“I think everyone was shocked by how much damage water can do,” Summerside garage maintenance superintendant Mike Berrigan said.
The repairs are estimated to take between six and eight weeks but in that time, snow is bound to hit roads that are closed and re-routed.
Berrigan says their priority is making sure everyone knows the plan – and it’s all hands on deck.
“Not many people in our line of work take vacations this time of year,” he said.
If last week’s storms had been snow we would have been buried until May, but rain presents its own challenges. Snow can be blown out of the road and into empty fields to melt gradually.
Queens County cleanup is mostly repairing shoulder damage and some damage on the York road.
Workers are testing equipment and finishing last-minute repairs to snow removal machinery and salt and sand spreaders.
In the summer they’re cutting grass and doing road work and maintaining government’s fleet of vehicles. In the winter they’re operating 30 plows and half a dozen loaders and graders.
Government Garage staff of more than 50 repair broken vehicles and parts to keep everything running safely and smoothly.
Snow clearing contracts for contractors started Nov. 15.
They have 100,000 tonnes of sand and 10,000 tonnes of salt ready to keep our tires on the road when the snow hits.