+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 7-07S

Winter Highway Maintenance

January 1, 2007
Expiry Date:
March 31, 2010
Active Status:
Transportation and Infrastructure
Vote Results:

WHEREAS Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation adopted the minimum highway maintenance levels of service as of June 14, 2000 as stated in the Highway Maintenance Guidelines and Level of Service Manual; andWHEREAS Based on the Highway Maintenance Guidelines and Level of Service Manual, the winter maintenance response time is sporadic and inconsistent on Provincial Highways; andWHEREAS Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation does not have published communication protocols to file and respond to highway maintenance issues and concerns; andWHEREAS Citizens and Municipalities need to have a defined communication protocol to file complaints relating to highway maintenance issues; andWHEREAS Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation has stated safe road conditions are of high priority;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request that Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation review the minimum service guidelines and employ performance measures to ensure Alberta Highways are safe for the motoring public in winter conditions; andBE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request that Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation establish and develop communication protocols to ensure all complaints and concerns are addressed in a timely manner.

Member Background:

This issue came to the attention of Saddle Hills County’s administration and Council as they were flooded with calls from citizens who travel on the primary and secondary highways requesting snow removal thinking that it was the County’s responsibility to clear these roads.They were informed by the County that these corridors were the responsibility of Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation, and the snow removal was contracted to La Prairie Group. Citizens shared numerous complaints regarding the level of service and lack of response they received to their numerous requests for snow removal assistance. The following are examples that were given;- January 2, 2007 conditions of Freezing Rain on Hwy 681 West, no sand put down until January 4th in the later part of the afternoon.- January 3rd, 2007 Resident hit the ditch on Hwy681, they phoned Peace River office and was informed to contact the contractor as they could do nothing for them.- January 7th, 2007 Heavy winds picked up around 7pm. January 8th approximately 7am, down to one lane on Hwy 49 as there was a 2 foot snow drift and the road still was not plowed.- January 9th, 2007 between 4-10 pm approximately 8 inches of snow fell on Hwy 49 West. The next morning January 10th, a Councillor called La Prairie Group, and asked about service and response times. He was told that they work for Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation and he should call the Grande Prairie office. The Councillor then called the Grande Prairie office and asked that someone return his call. A plow truck went West of Bay Tree on the morning of the 10th at approximately 10:15 a.m. To date no one has returned his call from this office.- January 10th, 2007 at around 10 am a County Employee was stuck on a snow drift in the middle of the road on Hwy 731. The employee waited over 3 hours for a snowplow to arrive to assist in the removal of the drift that was blocking traffic in both directions. The operator that arrived on site was very personable and friendly.- January 10th, 2007 approximately 5 pm the snow was still not plowed on Hwy 681 Eastbound, making driving very difficult.

RMA Background:

Resolution 18-05F – Comprehensive Highway Traffic Safety Plan (STATUS: ACTIVE) urges the AAMDC to work with the Government of Alberta to implement a comprehensive highway traffic safety plan in support of the recommendations found in the Saving Lives on Alberta’s Roads: Report and Recommendations for a Traffic Collision Fatality and Injury Reduction Strategy. The Solicitor General and Public Security Division has already explored alternative service delivery models for traffic enforcement and has implemented a six-month pilot project in early 2006. This will use Provincial Protection Officers in a traffic safety enforcement role to provide supplementary enforcement on select primary highways in the rural areas. To this end, the 2006 budget revealed an addition $4.6 million to add forty-two new officers to the current eight. Additionally the Solicitor General and Public Security Division has already begun work on coordinating the traffic safety initiatives of the police services in the province to ensure a more comprehensive approach to traffic safety awareness and enforcement. This includes a number of joint forces projects targeting high-risk drivers, impaired drivers and seat belt campaigns all geared towards a reduction in collisions.Resolution 14-05F – Increased Funding for Primary and Secondary Highways (STATUS: ACTIVE): urges the province to address the infrastructure deficit at a rate of $266 million per year for ten years, and to form a task force to prioritize the primary and secondary highways this money would target. $3.6 billion over three years has been allocated in the 2006 budget for construction of primary, secondary and rural roads throughout the Province of Alberta. This represents $400 million in actual benefits to AAMDC members. The $3.6 billion commitment addresses new construction costs and new highway projects while neglecting to acknowledge the ongoing and increasing infrastructure deficit already firmly entrenched.Resolution 22-05F – Comprehensive Emergency Services Protocols (STATUS: COMPLETE) urges the Government of Alberta to develop Emergency Response Protocols and assume liabilities for all responding emergency services personnel. In 1992, Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation established a policy entitled Fire Calls – Emergency Response on Highways (Recovery of Damage Claims). This policy was established after the department received a few large claims for fire protection services. For authorized calls, Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation will accept billings from the local fire departments to cover reasonable costs. A maximum of $300 per unit, per hour is paid for emergency response units, such as a tanker truck, pumper units, rescue units, command units and rapid response units. The AAMDC is satisfied at this point that the costs being paid by the government are reasonable and that steps taken to protect first responders are adequate.


Through formal ministerial meetings, the AAMDC will advocate for a review of the minimum maintenance guidelines and the establishment of a formalized process that tracks complaints and ensures accountability. Further, the AAMDC will continue to urge the government to undertake an awareness campaign to ensure citizens are aware of the highway maintenance process.

Provincial Ministries:
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