SASKATOON – The City of Saskatoon laid out its plans for the upcoming snow removal season, including technological advances planned for its fleet of sanding trucks. The city has equipped three more sanding trucks with a “pre-wetting” solution that debuted on Saskatoon streets last year.
The pilot project involved setting up a sanding truck with a magnesium-chloride brine. The mixture makes sand stick to the ground, while helping salt melt ice at lower temperatures.
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“We found through the results of last year’s experiment that the pre-wetting is a very good solution. It works optimally well,” said Pat Hyde, director of public works with the City of Saskatoon.
The city is also in the process of equipping its sanders with GPS. The goal is to track the vehicles and the amount of product and fuel used, in order to create more efficient routes and processes in the future.
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While the weather has been unseasonably warm so far, the public works department is proceeding as usual.
“We’re prepared for it, but we’re always hoping for the best,” Hyde said. “We’re also prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at us.”
Crews will be out during and immediately after the first snowfall of the season. The snow clearing budget has $3.2 million remaining in 2015, while $1.1 million is left in the sanding budget.