Check out our Frequently Asked Questions or click on the links of interest at the bottom of this page for more info! Residents can also follow @hfxgov on Twitter or call 311 for timely updates during a weather event.
A weather system moving into the region this afternoon and overnight will bring periods of rain, freezing rain and ice pellets for some parts of the Halifax region. Road Operations crews have all equipment ready and will be patrolling as required to plow and treat roads during the evening commute and overnight. Conditions are expected to deteriorate rapidly and crews will focus on ensuring the afternoon and morning commutes are minimally impacted.
As the temperature drops, the transition from rain to freezing rain and ice pellets will bring slippery driving conditions to some areas. Please adjust driving conditions accordingly and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.
Now is the time to start preparing for the snowy winter months. Follow these simple steps to help protect your property and ensure clearing goes as safely and smoothly as possible:
1. Trim any tree branches and shrubs that originate from your property.
2. Remove planters, lawn decorations and any other portable objects near the sidewalk before the winter.
3. Items like sports equipment that may still be used should be safely stored when bad weather is in the forecast.
4. Mark any permanent structures or objects too big to move with a reflector that will be visible above the snow.
5. Consider tires that have better traction for winter driving and always carry a winter survival kit in your vehicle.
Did you know that that every time it snows, our municipal and contracted crews are responsible for clearing 3,800 lane kilometres of roads? Stretched end to end, that’s the same distance as driving from Halifax to Winnipeg. On top of that, crews also clear close to 1,000 kilometres of sidewalks and walkways and 3,600 bus stops. That’s a lot of ground to cover!
Help crews get the job done faster and safer by staying off the roads when the weather is bad and securing off-street parking for the when the overnight winter parking ban is enforced.
The overnight winter parking ban will be in effect from December 15, 2014, to March 31, 2015. Like last season, the ban will be enforced only during declared snow and ice events, from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Those in violation of the ban can be ticketed or towed.
For those who signed up last season, you will continue to receive notifications when the ban will be enforced. Residents who subscribe will receive timely messages by phone, email, and/or text message, throughout the winter season, about the status of overnight winter parking bans in the Halifax region.
In 2013, Regional Council directed staff to begin providing sidewalk snow and ice clearing, including salting and sanding, for all sidewalks in the Halifax region. That means residents are no longer responsible for clearing the sidewalks near their homes or properties.
Sidewalk clearing is done by a combination of municipal and contracted crews, called performance-based contractors. Service standards set by Regional Council state that clearing should occur within 12 to 36 hours after the end of a snowfall. Crews won’t stop until all sidewalks are done.
While the objective is to maintain sidewalks to a bare condition, many factors play a part in achieving that goal. Rapidly changing weather conditions, like sudden freezes after rain, wet snow packed to ice and freezing rain can produce a heavy ice build-up on sidewalks that is difficult to remove. Sand will be applied to provide a degree of traction on sidewalks, especially when temperatures drop and salt becomes less effective.
The Halifax Regional Municipality has adopted a more proactive approach to snow clearing by preparing the streets in advance with rock salt, brine or a mixture of the two, to help prevent the buildup of snow and ice during a weather event.
Direct liquid application (DLA) is a newer technique in the municipality’s overall salt management strategy that involves spraying the streets with saltwater, also known as brine. This minimizes the bond that forms between the surface of the road and snow or ice, similar to using Pam to prevent food from sticking to the pan.
Residents should note that these preventative methods only work in certain conditions. For example, rock salt won’t melt ice if it’s extremely cold and you wouldn’t spray the streets with brine if the forecast is calling for heavy rain. Winter operations staff are constantly evaluating the weather and choosing the best method for the forecast.
Using brine on the streets is better for the environment because it means crews use less rock salt, a substance that often washes into nearby ditches and waterways. Using brine and salt ahead of a storm can also save time and money by making it easier to plow the snow off the streets.
Links of Interest