Busy Winter for Alberta Snow Plows

News about the roadbuilding & heavy construction industry
Issued April 28, 2017

Busy Winter for Snow Plows on Alberta Highways

Edmonton (April 28, 2017) – It was a busy winter for Alberta’s snow plow operators as they logged 186,558 hours – the equivalent of more than 21 years – clearing and sanding the province’s highways. That’s up 22% over the previous winter when spring came unusually early.

“More than 600 snow plows were out this winter under extreme winter weather conditions so Albertans could travel safely on provincial highways,” said Jim Rivait, CEO of the Alberta Roadbuilders & Heavy Construction Association. The ARHCA’s 1,000 members include companies responsible for winter maintenance of Alberta’s highways under contract with the provincial government.

“Snow plow drivers see the worst of Alberta’s winters from the cabs of their trucks – from blizzards to freezing rain – and are often the first ones on the road after a storm. Their dedication helps Albertans reach their destinations safely and ensures that businesses can continue to ship their products to market,” said Rivait.

While most motorists give snowplows the room they need to operate safely, each year there are always some incidents. A total of 36 collisions or near misses were recorded since the start of 2017. That compares to 23 incidents in all of 2016 and 25 in 2015. Rear-end collisions were the most common type of incident.

“Our Association wants to remind people to be careful when they encounter plows in the winter or construction crews who are already starting work on this summer’s projects. Our members are trying to ensure the roads are safe year-round so Albertans can travel safely and conveniently. Please recognize that your safety and workers’ lives are at stake.”

Alberta Transportation and the Alberta Roadbuilders & Heavy Construction Association co-sponsor the Safer Winter Highways campaign to inform the public about winter road maintenance in Alberta, and the role of Alberta motorists and snowplow operators in the safer winter driving equation. This winter the campaign hosted 19 Show off the Plows events in communities and schools. The events provide the chance to learn more about the state-of-the-art equipment used to maintain Alberta’s highways and talk to experienced operators.