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Port Coquitlam likely to overspend road clearing budget as it prepares for more snow, freezing rain

How clear are your roads? Crews are keeping up with snow plowing with "100 per cent" of priority roads cleared by Wednesday morning (Dec. 21), but another winter storm is approaching.
A Port Coquitlam salt truck works its way through the city during the week of Dec. 19-24, 2022.

Port Coquitlam road crews are keeping up with snow clearing, with "100 per cent" of all priority roads cleared yesterday (Dec. 21), according to the city.

However, with more snow predicted for tonight, turning into freezing rain Friday (Dec. 23), road crews are preparing for challenging conditions.

"Freezing temperatures and snow accumulations continue to cause challenges as crews move between Priority 1 reapplication of salt back to Priority 2 routes. We are focusing on today's predicted event while cleaning up significant snow accumulations and applying ice control," the city states on social media.

As of mid-week, Port Coquitlam had already spent its snow clearing budget for the year and was poised to spend more than this allocation to handle the upcoming winter storm.

"Our snow clearing budget for the year January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022 is $428,000. With the recent unprecedented snow and ice event we will be 100 per cent spent or over," said Mayor Brad West in a statement.

West has been keeping residents informed of snow cleaning priorities, even checking the roads himself during this week's snow storm.

His social media post touting the city's roads were 100 per cent cleared earned mostly accolades, including one person who suggested West was "flexing."

Port Coquitlam was also able continue with garbage collection despite the snow accumulation.

The city has enough salt to keep up with demands, said West in a statement to the Tri-City News, and has several pieces of road clearing equipment out on the road including:

  • Two tandems
  • Two singles
  • Three one-ton dump trucks
  • Two backhoes
  • One loader
  • Two skid steers

Here's how clear PoCo's roads are today

  • According to the city, Priority One routes are bare in most sections, with patchy snow or ice in shaded areas with piles from plowing on roadsides.
  • Priority Two routes are snow covered but easily passable, with snow accumulations on road edges or areas with parked cars
  • Priority Three routes are snow covered and passable, with snow clearing occurring at least once, and crews are revisiting as they finish up work on priority one and two routes.

Winter storm approaching

Up to 5 cm of snow beginning near midnight, is expected tonight, turning to ice pellets or freezing rain tomorrow, according to Environment Canada's winter storm warning

In anticipation of tonight's winter storm, the City of Port Coquitlam has planned the following activities:

  • Three trucks are salting Priority One routes to support the morning commute.
  •  A full crew is working Downtown (Shaughnessy, McAllister and Wilson, etc.) removing snow or piling it out of the way to make room for plowing
  • The crew will move to Coast Meridian Overpass to do the same after downtown is finished.

Restocking of salt bays continues throughout the day.


  • Parks crews will prepare by salting and applying ice melt on their Priority One sidewalks and trails.


  • Utilities crews are planning for the melting snow and rain predicted to start Saturday to ensure drains are exposed to prevent overland flooding.


  • Focus on minor repairs and snow equipment maintenance to prepare for snow Thursday's prediction