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Friday, April 16, 2021

Snow plows will no longer be on TCH 24 hours a day

Budget eliminates 26 round-the-clock snowclearing jobs

The practice of 24-hour snow clearing on the Trans-Canada Highway in Newfoundland and Labrador has been cut in this year’s budget.

The Department of Transportation and Works said there are 26 positions associated with 24-hour snow clearing. However, it may be months before affected workers will know for sure if they’re losing their jobs,

By cutting the round-the-clock snow clearing, the province will save about $1.9 million annually.

Only certain areas of the province currently have snowplows on the roads at all times, and only “on high traffic segments of the TCH and major trunk roads,” said a department spokesperson in an email to CBC.

In normal cases, plows operate between 4:30 a.m. and 10 p.m., but will be called out overnight in case of an emergency.

“The current level of service policy identifies actions to be taken following a storm, taking into account traffic volumes, speed limits, road temperatures, and the type and rate of precipitation,” said the department spokesperson.

“We are currently reviewing our level of service policy to ensure our winter maintenance operations are as effective as possible, while maintaining the safety of the traveling public.”

The province has earmarked $61.6 million for snow and ice control operations.