Winter is melting away, and with the warmer weather and softer roads comes road bans for the County of Wetaskiwin.
The county’s Road Protection Committee met March 27 and came to agreement to implement a 75 per cent axle weight ban throughout the county of gravelled surfaces not identified by the annual road bans.
The committee also decided to remove the 100 per cent road ban exemption on Range Road 244 between Township Road 47 and Township Road 480.
The committee’s decision was ratified by county council during its April 4 regular council meeting.
Neil Powell, director of public works, says neighbouring counties are also implementing road bands, but the County of Wetaskiwin is not making the decision simply to follow suit. “(It’s) just based on our (road) conditions.”
Melting frost and flooding conditions are both contributing factors to the road ban decision, says Powell. “We had in excess of 300 to 400 frozen culverts.”
Powell added the road bans could be in effect until the May long weekend but county staff will be taking the decision day-by-day. “They’re in effect and we’re watching closely.”
“The road conditions will dictated when they come off,” he added.
Coun. Larry McKeever stated during council’s meeting road bans until the May long weekend seems like quite a long time.
He pointed out the county did not have any road bans last year.
CAO Frank Coutney says, historically, the county has seen a wide variance in the length of imposed road bans. With dry conditions similar to 2016 such bans are not always necessary, while in other years the county has been affected by road bans until the beginning of June.