EDMONTON, Alta. – Alberta Transportation is considering closing highways during severe winter weather for snow-clearing efforts and to deter motorists from driving when conditions are hazardous.
The government department is discussing the possibility of road closures with stakeholders to determine whether closing highways during severe storms is an idea worth pursuing.
Currently, roads in Alberta are only closed in the event of a serious accident or when the route is impassable.
“As it stands now, we don’t particularly close down highways for snow removal,” spokeswoman Leanne Stangland told local media.
“But we are in discussions with stakeholders to see if closing down highways in severe weather is a possibility.”
The possibility of closing highways during winter storms came up last year when motorists continued to take to the road despite harsh winter storms in Calgary and Lethbridge.
Several deaths were blamed on the poor weather and the fact drivers continued to drive despite the storms.
“The contractors couldn’t keep up with the clearing,” Standland told the Calgary Sun.
“Motorists kept driving through and before crews could get to it … the snow and driving rain turned to ice.
“There are many motorists that simply don’t stay off the highways, even in really bad weather.”
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