Snow & Ice Control

The Roads Division's primary goal during any snowstorm is to keep primary and collector streets open and safe for the motoring public. Priority is given to emergency routes. A snow and ice control program has been developed and will be implemented during the winter season.

Snow Plowing
Snow plowing commences after three centimetres of snow has accumulated or when snow drifting impedes traffic movement. In most cases, the snow is plowed producing windrows. Snow is plowed first from emergency routes, followed by arterial thoroughfares, collectors, designated hills and roads commonly used by emergency response personnel, industrial area, and residential intersections connecting with arterial thoroughfares and collectors.

Snow Removal
The Roads Division implements snow removal operations when the accumulation of snow significantly impedes traffic flow and on-street parking. When it is necessary to clear snow, the order of priorities are as follows:
  • Priority 1 - Emergency routes and fire hydrants
  • Priority 2 - Downtown core (Between the hours of 10 pm to 8 am)
  • Priority 3 - School zones
Priorities are assigned to particular roadways by traffic volumes and physical characteristics.

Sanding & Salting
Sanding and salting of streets, lanes and sidewalks is done to ensure a reasonable level of safety to motorists and pedestrians as surface conditions dictate. The priorities for sanding and salting are as follows:
  • Priority 1 - Emergency routes
  • Priority 2 - Arterial thoroughfares
  • Priority 3 - Collectors
  • Priority 4 - Residential intersections connecting with arterial thoroughfares and collectors
  • Priority 5 - Designated hills and roads commonly used by emergency response personnel
  • Priority 6 - Industrial area
  • Priority 7 - Town-owned parking lots
Sand & Salt Storage
All functions in stockpiling of sand and salt, loading and off-loading of materials is conducted within our salt storage facility. The Roads Division implements best management practices as outlined in the Road Salt Management Plan to minimize the effects on the environment.

Snow Storage Site

The Town of Cochrane has developed a state-of-the-art snow storage site, located at 700 Griffin Road. The site is not open to the public. The division manages the discharge of melt water to comply with Alberta Environment Water Quality Regulations and to ensure the surface and ground water resources are protected.

Sidewalk / Pathway Snow & Ice Clearing
The Parks and Facilities Division clears snow from sidewalks and pathways within 48 hours as follows:
  • Sidewalks adjacent to Town-owned buildings, properties and Town-maintained parks.
  • Sidewalks adjacent to schools, Town-maintained stairway links within communities and bridge walkways across the Bow River and Jumping Pound Creek.
  • Asphalt pathways and sidewalks adjacent to roadways allowing pedestrian access to the downtown core.
  • Asphalt pathways within parks and environmental reserves
  • Asphalt pathway links
Areas not designated to be cleared of snow:
  • Residential sidewalks.
  • Shale pathways
  • Unpaved pathways within parks and environmental reserves.
How You Can Help
During a snowstorm you can help the Town crews by not parking along emergency routes, arterial thoroughfares and collectors. Other options to assist are as follows:
  • Help us keep our streets clear and safe this winter by taking care around plows and sanders.
  • Shovel driveways and sidewalks onto property not roadways
  • Keep storm drains clear of ice and snow to allow for optimum drainage.
  • Exercise extreme care when driving in inclement weather. Driving on snow packed and icy roads requires your full attention. During times of poor road conditions, allow extra room between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Remember to brake slowly.
  • Keep your windshield clean at all times.
  • During times of reduced visibility, watch for bicycles, disabled individuals and pedestrians, especially around schools. If at all possible do not drive during a storm. It is much safer to stay at home and wait until conditions improve.
  • Never assume that because the temperature is above zero the roads are safe. Road salt does not work miracles and is not effective below -10 degrees Celsius.
Concerns & Requests
The Town relies on input from residents at times of snow emergencies. Residents' advice on road conditions will be investigated and appropriate action taken if necessary. Please contact the Roads Division during regular office hours at 403-851-2590.