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HRM Winter Works Ready for the Elements

(February 17, 2010) - HRM’s Winter Works crews and dozens of contractors were out in full force today to tackle the worst snow storm of the season.

A full complement of HRM equipment and contracted services were out to meet the worst of the snowstorm between 3 AM and 6 AM this morning, with work continuing throughout the day to clear and salt streets.

“There’s no question this was a serious snowfall,” said Winter Works Superintendent Gordon Hayward. “But we were ready for it and we will keep working until the streets are clear again.”

This year’s snow removal budget is $15.3 million, with an additional $2 million set aside in a reserve fund should it be required. At present, HRM has spent $14.3 million to keep roads cleared and salted. By comparison, by this time last winter, one of the worst in recent years, the municipality had spent $18.5 million to contend with snow and ice.

While snowfall amounts vary significantly from year to year, about 80 per cent of the cost for snow and ice removal is fixed as it is directly tied to staff and contracts. Salt use is down markedly this year over last, which can be attributed to the milder temperatures this winter. Thus far the municipality has used 22,500 tonnes of salt. In 2009, HRM used 56,000 tonnes in total.

“Today was a good reminder that we still have plenty of winter weather to come,” said Hayward.

While every effort is made to return HRM streets and roads to safe conditions as soon as possible, snow and ice operations do take time. The municipality prioritizes all routes for snow removal based on their impact to the overall transportation system. For example, main thoroughfares and emergency response routes would receive a higher priority rating.

Service standards are applied to each priority level but can be extended during excessive snow falls. Please visit to learn more about HRM’s service standards and priorities.

For more information on winter parking legislation, driving/parking solutions, HRM’s Smart Trip program, frequently asked questions and more, please visit us at and click on the snow information icon.


Michaelyn Thompson
HRM Corporate Communications

Gordon Hayward
HRM’s Winter Works Superintendent




Above content last modified Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 8:49am.