The objective of road maintenance is to provide safe driving for motorists. County road infrastructure consists of 1500 Km's of gravel surface and 210 Km's of rural paved surface. Without proper care and maintenance of the road allowance, property line to property line, drivers would experience a number of frustrations, potentially hazards, and accident statistics would likely rise. Therefore, the County actively maintains roads to control hazards, just as any other municipality does.
Road surfaces are continually maintained and the following is a summary of these activities. Regular grading and gravelling of gravel surfaces are primary activities that occur in the summer months. Road grading involves a fleet of eight (8) motor graders that grade roads weekly to monthly depending on surface conditions, traffic and weather. Road gravelling is done to maintain granular material on road surfaces for structure stability and traction. Roads are graveled every 2-7 years, again depending on surface conditions, traffic and weather. Other activities to maintain the road surfaces are shoulder pulls and ridge mulching, both of these help maintain road widths and crowns. Lastly, activities such as soft spot repairs and culvert maintenance occur to deal with spring thaws that can leave gravel roads soft and very rough.
Roadside maintenance on gravel and paved surfaces is another very important function that is performed together with the Agriculture Services Department (ASD). ASD activities include mowing, that occurs twice annually on all gravel and paved surfaces. Mowing helps in reducing drifting snow in the winter and improves roadside visibility in the summer. ASD also has an active spraying program to control unwanted weeds in all County road rights of ways. Municipal Services installs approximately 2300 meters of snow fence annually to help control unwanted snow drifting during the winter months. Municipal Services also has a tree and brush control program that removes unwanted trees in road ditches that can cause snow drifting, ice formation, and falling tree hazards. Finally, Municipal Services has an active roadside drainage and culvert maintenance program, keeping the infrastructure in good shape for runoff, something we experience often due to winter Chinooks and frequent heavy rains.
The County also maintains 210 Km’s of rural paved roads. Winter activities include snow plowing and sanding of the paved surfaces during and after snow events. The County operates a fleet of five (5) plow trucks with sanders, plows and wings and typically can cover all the rural paved roads in a work shift. Two (2) smaller 2 ton trucks are equipped with plows and sanders and dispatched on Hamlet roads. Summer activities include line painting, pothole repair and crack sealing.
One of our most important activities that occur on all county roads is traffic sign maintenance. The County maintains thousands of traffic signs, keeping motorists safe on roads.
The County's management and staff are continuously working towards keeping roads safe through the most cost effective methods available.