Winter road maintenance

Suburbs

Salting

Using the right amount at the right time to make the most impact

Salt is used when it’s most effective, generally when temperatures are above -12°C. Below this temperature salt can still be used with an organic additive to make salt effective at lower temperatures.

It’s applied to:

  • Designated routes only, including major arterial roads, major collectors and GRT bus routes.
  • Designated road sections containing sharp curves or steep grades.

There are provincially legislated minimum maintenance standards when it comes to treating ice and snow on roadways, which can be found on the Province of Ontario website.

Saving on salt. Our salt trucks use spreading technology

  • Salt trucks use computerized spreading controls that apply salt based on the vehicle’s ground speed.
  • This helps spreader rates stay consistent, regardless of the speed of the vehicle.
  • All salters use pre-wetting technology which sprays salt brine directly on the salt as it comes off the spinner. The salt sticks to the ground better where it’s applied.
  • This allows us to use 25% less salt compared to using dry rock salt alone.
  • The City uses Epoke salters in our most environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Our salt storage building allows us to load our trucks with salt inside which minimizes the impact to the environment.
  • Our staff are trained in salt management and ensure these practices are applied in their daily work.

Sanding

Sand helps when salt can't

Sand is used for traction at intersections and on steep hills and sharp curves instead of salt when salt becomes ineffective due to low temperatures.

It’s applied to:

  • Designated routes only, including major arterial roads, major collectors and GRT bus routes.
  • Designated road sections containing sharp curves or steep grades.

Sand is used on other streets only under extreme ice conditions.

You can pick up sand at the north east corner of parking lot at the Kitchener Operations Facility located 131 Goodrich Drive, Kitchener.

Anti-Icing

One step ahead of the storm. The City uses salt brine to de-ice

Salt brine looks like water, but the liquid is a mix of water and 23% salt.

  • It leaves a salt residue behind to help prevent a bond between the pavement and snow. Less salt is required to return roads to bare pavement
  • It’s usually applied before a forecasted snow or frost situation, which can cut the amount of salt used.
  • It’s also applied after a rainfall which will strip all residual salt from the roadways

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