Mississauga snow-clearing crews get ready for winter’s blast


Published November 18, 2022 at 11:50 am

Mississauga’s small army of snow plows, salt/brine trucks and other winter maintenance vehicles is getting prepped for what’s expected to be an especially cold and snowy winter.

While there’s no threat of a huge snowfall on the immediate horizon–no more than three centimetres of the white stuff is forecast on a single day over the next two weeks–the City of Mississauga has its 180 snow plows and salt trucks, 46 plow loaders and 275 sidewalk/bus pad-clearing machines at the ready.

City officials officially kicked off the 2022-23 winter maintenance season this morning (Nov. 18) at the Mavis Works Yard in Mississauga with a demonstration of brining equipment that will be used more often this winter to keep roads safe.

“The City’s Works, Operations and Maintenance staff are once again ready to respond to snowfall to help keep Mississauga residents moving safely by clearing roads, on-street bike lanes, priority sidewalks and other City infrastructure after a snowfall,” a Mississauga spokesperson said in a news release.

More efficient machinery was introduced last year as the City entered into a new winter maintenance contract that will see Mississauga pay $17.7 million a year over eight years to clear the snow from the city’s roads and sidewalks. 

City officials said at the time that new snow-clearing equipment will allow them to clear the roads more efficiently, as snowplows will have the ability to salt and plow at the same time, if necessary. 

One of the brine trucks the City of Mississauga will use this winter to keep roads safe. (Photo: City of Mississauga)

Additionally, an expanded anti-icing program will see the City use more brine equipment to help limit the use of road salt. Brine is a mix of water saturated with salt, and it’s used to pre-treat some roads ahead of a snowfall, making it harder for ice to form and easier to plow roads.

The City is responsible for clearing snow and ice on 5,700 lane kilometres of City-owned roads and 1,700 lane kilometres of priority sidewalks, a process that can take between 12 and 36 hours after the snow stops depending on how much snow has fallen, officials say.  

Additionally, it’s responsible to clear snow and ice at 3,300 bus stops, more than 1,000 pedestrian crossings and 105 kilometres of roadside multi-use trails.

The Region of Peel clears most regional roads, such as Airport and Dixie Rds., which carry higher volumes of traffic moving at higher speeds than local roads. 

Residents are also encouraged to do their part by: 

  • removing parked vehicles from residential streets, whenever possible, when it snows
  • clearing your walkway and sidewalk
  • reporting excess salt use at bus stops to the City of Mississauga

Mississauga officials said a couple of weeks ago that they’re expecting an especially harsh winter.

“The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a cold and snowy 2022-2023 winter season,” the City said.

Officials say there are several things residents can do to get through the winter:

  • get a helping hand: for those who need it, they can sign up for the City’s Driveway Windrow Snow Clearing Program, available to people aged 65 and older or those with disabilities. The program will provide clearing of windrows, the piles of snow that collect at the bottom of driveways after snow plows clear the road
  • be patient: “While our crews work around the clock, snow clearing activity takes time and is scheduled based on priorities. The City first clears priority roads for emergency vehicles and bus routes. After that, the City clears secondary roads and then tackles windrows. Snow clearing can take up to 36 hours after snowfall stops”
  • pitch in: be a good neighbour and make sure you clear your sidewalk and driveway of snow and ice as soon as possible after a snowfall
  • shovel safely: avoid injuries like heart stress caused by overexertion by warming up before heading out. Warming up can also help prevent muscle and back injuries. Also, dress for the weather to prevent hypothermia or frostbite
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