• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Dorion tackles problem of icy side streets

City also signs emergency measures protocol with Salaberry-de-Valleyfield

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

This winter’s wildly fluctuating temperatures have caused some streets to become coated with ice at least one inch thick and rutted to the asphalt in some spots, as seen on Rue Pi­neault in Vaudreuil-Dorion on February 19.

The city of Vaudreuil-Dorion is doing what it can to improve the condition of some of its side roads which have become rutted with thick ice due to the wildly fluctuating weather conditions, said Mayor Guy Pilon during the second question period at the Monday evening council meeting on February 18.

The issue of ice-covered streets was raised by a resident who asked whether the city had run out of road salt and then complained about the pock-marked state of Rue Pineault saying it resembled a war zone and that it was extremely difficult to drive or walk on the street.

One inch of ice

The same conditions exist on several nearby streets including Rue Évangéline and Rue Florence with several sections of road covered with at least one inch of ice. Pilon said the city is aware of the situation and are doing what they can to chip away at the buildup.

Road salt does very little to melt ice below a certain temperature so the city’s snow removal contractors have been waiting until noon when the temperature begins to rise and heat from the sun gives them the opportunity to use their graders, said Pilon.

Wild temperature fluctuations

This winter has been especially brutal with wild temperature fluctuations. The weather has also produced a mixed bag of precipitation including a recent 40 centimetre snowfall followed by freezing rain, rain, and back to snow.

The rainwater pools in the streets because of limited drainage and then freezes solid as soon as temperatures drop making it difficult for road crews to keep side streets ice free.

It doesn’t help that another round of snow and freezing rain is forecast for today, February 21. Most of the city’s roads, including many side streets, are in good shape overall, said Pilon.

“The city is doing what it can to remove the ice. We are going to continue to make sure our roads are safe,” he said.

New emergency measures protocol

Vaudreuil-Dorion has signed an emergency measures protocol with Salaberry-de-Valleyfield that will allow personnel to respond to a major emergency situation. “We will be able to help them and they will be able to help us,” said Mayor Pilon.

The agreement is the result of a provincial initiative to help municipalities with the same population to receive emergency assistance from other similar-sized cities that are in close proximity to each other.

2017 flooding

Pilon recalled the record flooding the city suffered in 2017, saying emergency personnel from Salaberry-de-Valleyfield could have played a role in the crisis at the time if there was an agreement protocol already in place. “They could have come to give our crews a break by providing us with the help we needed at that time,” said Pilon.

Now that a civil security agreement exists between both cities, Vaudreuil-Dorion will be able to provide emergency assistance to Salaberry-de-Valleyfield when necessary. “If anything were to happen there, like a big industrial fire because they have a chemical industry, we will able to provide them with the help they need.”