Snow clearing and de-icing operations on the main arteries and collectors start as soon as precipitation begins. For side streets, snow clearing starts as soon as 5 cm has accumulated on the ground and in accordance with operational priorities.
Snow clearing routes are planned to ensure your safety and operational efficiency, and to reduce intervention times.
Given that several factors can affect the process, duration and efficiency of winter interventions, three different levels of service have been prescribed under the Politique de viabilité hivernale according to the type of situation.
|Standard situation||An event that does not present any operational challenges
|Difficult situation||An event that could present operational challenges
|Critical situation||An event that will certainly present operational challenges
|Priority||Timeframe (once precipitation ends)1|
|Standard situation||Difficult situation||Critical situation|
|Roads||12 h||16 h||24 h2|
|Sidewalks||16 h||20 h||24 h2|
|Pathways / bike paths||16 h||20 h||24 h2|
1 In the event of new precipitation while operations are underway, the timeframe is reset and snow clearing operations start again on the main arteries, collectors, sidewalks and priority pathways.
2 It may be difficult to achieve service levels on certain side streets and sidewalks and on multi-purpose pathways under certain extreme conditions.
Snow clearing operational priorities are set to ensure your safety and operational efficiency, and to reduce intervention times. The priority is on the busiest roadways.
|Order of priority||Roadway|
These are the major axes used mainly to move traffic between the urban centres, and in specific locations3.
(examples: ch. d'Aylmer, boul. Saint-Joseph, boul. Maloney, av. de Buckingham)
These are roads used to get between side streets and main arteries. These roads also provide access to important local infrastructures, such as schools, sports centres, industrial parks and libraries.
(examples: ch. Fraser, boul. du Mont-Bleu, av. Gatineau, rue Maclaren)
These are all other streets, whether residential or rural, generally located within 1 km of a collector.
3 These are specific locations, regardless of the order of priority of the roadway, where intervention is required over a short distance for safety reasons, such as certain curves, steep hills, bridges, overpasses and certain intersections.
|Order of priority||Sidewalks and pedestrian links|
|1||Sidewalks and links next to main arteries or in a school corridor.|
|2||Sidewalks and links next to collectors, or that provide access to public transit.|
|3||Sidewalks along side streets, and all other links whose maintenance is justified.|
|Order of priority||Pathway|
|1||Bike paths that are part of the four-season bike path network.|
|2||Other bike links whose maintenance is justified.|
Not all sidewalks, multi-purpose pathways and pedestrian links will be systematically cleared. In winter, Gatineau maintains an active mobility network extending over some 650 kilometres. The Politique de viabilité hivernale provides specific criteria for winter maintenance. Those criteria include the following:
An operation that uses snow clearing vehicles such as snow blowers and graders to push snow to the side of arteries.
An operation that involves spreading melters, abrasives or a mix of the two. The type of material used depends on the condition of the road or sidewalk and on the temperature. Learn more about salt spreading and management.
An operation that involves cutting or scraping the layers of hardened snow and ice on an artery or sidewalk to remove those layers. The operation requires the use of melters and equipment.
An operation that involves blowing snow banks* to the side of the road or into a truck to be taken to a snow dump. Learn more about blowing snow to the side.
* Snow bank or windrow: the pile of snow that is created when a grader passes by.
More than 270 blue collar employees are ready to intervene during snow clearing operations, along with a few contractors to help out.
More than 3,000 km to clear, including:
More than 150 pieces of equipment used for snow clearing and maintaining the roads, including:
6 snow dumps:
Recognized for its quality of life, Gatineau is a city of 292,000 inhabitants. It is located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, and extends east and west of the Gatineau River.