As seen from the passenger’s seat Tuesday, Jan. 14 travelling north on Highway 20, it was a cold commute as temperatures dipped down to -34C. Road conditions are icy. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake’s cold snap poses challenges for road maintenance by city crews

Half of the fleet was having issues which required the assistance of the mechanical crew

When the temperature dips down to -34C like it did Tuesday, Jan. 14 in Williams Lake, salting the roads doesn’t work, said the city’s director of municipal services, public works and operations.

“We can’t use salt or any other product, with the exception of sand,” Gary Muraca told the Tribune.

Additionally, the equipment is very prone to breakdowns and the actual steel on the equipment gets brittle and could break very easily, he added.

Read more: School buses cancelled in all Cariboo communities, Puntzi Mountain records temperature of -47.5C

“We were delayed this morning as we had half our fleet having issues which required the assistance of our mechanical crew. Any colder, we could make the decision not to send out some of our key equipment to avoid breakdowns.”

Presently there is a lot of equipment in the shop right now getting minor repairs, as a result of the cold weather, to ensure it’s ready for the next shift, he added.

“It’s not pleasant for the operators or equipment when it gets this cold,” Muraca said, noting there were also numerous issues with City buildings and the heating systems not performing today.

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