SURREY —While summer is in full swing, the City of Surrey is already looking ahead to next winter.
On average, Surrey uses about 6,000 tons of road salt during an entire winter season, according to a city report. But that went out the window last winter, when the city needed to use more than 20,000 tons.
During a 44-day cold snap from Dec. 4 to Jan. 16, temperatures in Surrey were at or below zero degrees Celsius, the longest duration of freezing temperatures since 1984.
Luckily, the city had 17,000 tons on hold in its salt storage facility, located at Surrey’s operations centre.
Even so, a report to city council notes it was “difficult to manage”
This time around, city council opted for a two-year contract that protects the city should it find itself in a similar situation as this past winter, where other cities were faced with large increases in both salt and shipping costs.
The city has capped its annual road salt spending at just over $1.3 million, and given a two-year contract to Lafarge Asphalt Technologies for the maximum annual supply and delivery of 12,000 tons of road salt.