Red Deer County News

Posted on: April 18, 2017

Brushing: A Safety Measure

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With the winter finally winding down and thoughts of spring in the air, another year’s road program is set to begin. Included in our annual roads program are the construction, clearing, and the maintenance of approximately 3,000 kilometres of roads, right-of-ways and ditches. Each element is key to providing a safe and efficient transportation network, and is an important part of our overall commitment to serve you better.

Preventative maintenance activities throughout the year help to keep roads drivable and safe. Roadside brushing is one of the most important preventative maintenance activities we do. Every year, though we receive calls from residents questioning the purpose and policy behind the program.

The principal purpose behind brush removal from roadside ditches is to enhance the safety of our travelling public. Brush along the roadway can pose a variety of problems, including obstructing driver vision, encroaching onto the roadway surface, restricting proper drainage and limiting space for snow removal and storage. Continuous shade does not allow roads to dry as quickly and can lead to soft shoulders and weakened roads, leading to dangerous driving conditions. Roads in this condition tend to require more grader time and gravel.

Although some residents prefer to see a heavily treed roadside for dust control and aesthetic purposes, Red Deer County’s number one concern is to ensure your safety. By clearing trees, the County is able to expand site lines for drivers, as well as restore proper drainage to assist in keeping our road surfaces dry. Removing brush along roadways reduces snow drifting, and the expanded space can create a sense of openness, enhancing driving and road grading conditions.

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