As the town works to remove the considerable snowbanks that have built up over the winter, some resident have expressed concerns about where Public Works has been moving and piling the snow and what will happen when it all melts.
In a change from past years, when the town transported white stuff to its “snow dump” on McIrvine Road, crews this winter have been moving snow to the former Shevlin wood yard, Operations and Facilities manager Travis Rob told the Times on Friday.
He noted the wood yard's proximity to where they do the majority of snow removal from—the downtown area—makes it an ideal site.
“We can move more snow, with the fleet of equipment that we have, faster,” Rob remarked.
But residents living near the wood yard shouldn't worry about what will happen when it all melts.
“We didn't just decide on a whim to do this,” Rob stressed.
“I think there's some concern about the drainage part once the snow starts to melt," he conceded. ”But the wood yard is bound by two large ditches on the east and west sides that are both directly connected to the river for any of that melt water.
“In addition to that, a lot of the snow we are piling is close to the centre of the property.”
That's been done for two reasons. The first was to try and minimize noise pollution for the residents around there when the snow removal fleet comes and dumps off their loads.
The second reason is that there is a network of large ditches in the centre of the site—in addition to the east and west ones—that are directly connected to the river.
The property itself does “bowl” in the centre, so it's somewhat lower in the middle where the central ditches are. As such, most of the melt water will make its way there.
“We went in there in the fall [as] there had been a culvert that had collapsed,” Rob noted.
“We replaced that culvert and made sure everything was flowing as good as it possibly could, in anticipation of using the site as a snow dump.”
In summary, Rob assured residents there are systems in place that will handle the melt water.
“There is a couple [of] catch basins in the ditch to the east that we'll be clearing out before the melt is in full force, making sure they're flowing and everything so that we don't have any issues with that,” he said.
“We'll be steaming them if we have to, things of that nature, just to make sure the water that goes in the ditch goes into the storm sewer and away,” added Rob, noting the same goes for the ditch on the west side.