When a winter storm hits, the City's Municipal Works Department responds in a timely fashion to ensure City streets and sidewalks remain safe and passable for motorists and pedestrians.
But with over 275 kilometres of roadways and 175 kilometres of sidewalks to care for, digging out can be a challenging task.
There are a number of factors that can impact snow clearing operations, including the severity of snow and ice accumulation, time and available resources.
The City of Cornwall has a number of salt/snowplow trucks and sidewalk snow clearing units available to assist with clean up efforts.
In addition, there are a number of contracted companies that assist with snow clearing activities.
When it comes to snow clearing activities on roads, the city provides two levels of service based on minimum maintenance standards. The city has eight primary routes and fourteen secondary routes. The snow clearing activities for both the primary routes and secondary routes are independent of one another and respond to winter events in a timely fashion based on their own triggers and time lines. .
In addition to the weather, clean-up crews often face other obstacles while trying to complete their tasks. These include motorists trying to pass or following to closely behind snowplows, vehicles parked on the street and vehicles parked in driveways blocking the sidewalk. When snowplow and sidewalk operators encounter these obstacles, it limits their ability to clear the snow and forces them to slow down or come to a complete stop.
Residents can assist with the clean-up effort by keeping these points in mind.
Members of the public who have specific concerns about snow clearing activities are asked to call the Municipal Works Department at 613-932-5354.
Please review our Frequently Asked Questions below for responses to some common questions related to winter snow clearing activities.
Does the City of Cornwall clear all streets at once?
No. The level of service for streets depends on traffic volumes and posted speed limits. The City has two levels of service for municipal roads:
- Primary roads have high traffic volumes and higher posted speed limits. They may also have a bus route. Good examples of Primary roads include Ninth Street and Brookdale Avenue.
- Secondary roads have much lower traffic volumes and lower posted speed limits. Residential roads are also considered secondary roads.
When are streets treated (salted)?
Normally, Primary roads are salted after snow has started to fall and before the road surface ices up. Once the Primary roads have been cleared of snow, they are salted again to obtain a mostly bare pavement condition. Secondary roads are normally salted after snow has fallen and before icing begins. Once the secondary roads are cleared, salt is applied to provide adequate vehicle traction. During freezing rain events, all roads are treated as soon as possible.
When are sidewalks cleared?
Sidewalks are typically cleared after the snow accumulation is greater than 10 centimetres. Sidewalks on primary roads and secondary roads with schools are plowed first, followed by the balance of the residential sidewalks.
When is cul-de-sac plowing completed?
A cul-de-sac is considered a Secondary road. Normally, it would be plowed after an 8 centimetre accumulation and completed within 16 hours after a snowfall.
Sometimes I park my car on the street overnight. Can I do this in the winter?
Winter parking restrictions are in effect in the City of Cornwall between November 15 and March 31. During this time, motorists cannot park on any street between the hours of 1 am and 7 am. The restriction is extended to 2 am for municipal parking lots in the Downtown and Le Village commercial areas of Cornwall. This restriction is in place in order to assist with the snow plowing and snow removal operations. For more information on the City's winter parking restrictions, click here.
Who is responsible for clearing snow around bus shelters and bus stops?
Cornwall Transit is responsible for snow clearing around bus shelters. For more information on Cornwall Transit, click here or call (613) 930-2636.
Who repairs my mailbox or curb if it's damaged by a City plow?
The City does not assume responsibility for damaged or lost mailboxes. Roadway damage caused by the City snow activities are listed and repaired in the spring. Boulevard repairs are normally done with topsoil and grass seed.
How many kilometres of road and sidewalk does the City clear during and after a snow event?
The City of Cornwall presently has over 275 two-lane kilometres of mostly paved roads and over 175 kilometres of municipal sidewalks.
Does the level of service for snow clearing vary depending on the taxes a neighbourhood pays?
The level of service for winter snow clearing operations is based on provincial minimum maintenance standards.
Where can I find out more about snow maintenance?
For more information on snow operations, please contact the Roads Section of the Infrastructure and Municipal Works Department at (613) 932-5354.