New techniques to help City with snow clearing

The City of Edmonton is expanding the use of one of its winter maintenance tools: anti-icing products.

Anti-icer is applied to the road before it snows. It acts as a debonding agent, preventing snow and ice from sticking to the pavement, which makes snow removal easier and more effective. This practice is already in place on various provincial highways in the Edmonton Capital Region.

The City of Edmonton is piloting the use of anti-icer on several arterial roads: Yellowhead Trail and ramps; St. Albert Trail from 156 Street to Yellowhead Trail; and Gateway Boulevard and Calgary Trail from 19 Avenue to Whitemud Drive. Certain roads and sidewalks in the downtown core and a few multi-use trails will also be part of the pilot. We hope that anti-icing will help us achieve a bare-pavement condition sooner to help improve mobility and safety for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

Anti-icer can help reduce snow and ice buildup and improve traction in temperatures as low as -30°C. The use of anti-icer may also reduce the amount of sand and salt required to provide safe conditions. Our recent experience with warm, melting temperatures followed by extreme cold has led to challenges with maintaining safe conditions on various road and sidewalk surfaces.  Once snowpack has melted and then turned to ice, the application of sand has minimal effect in maintaining a safe surface.  Traditional salt is not effective in melting snow and ice once temperatures drop below -10°C.  Alternate de-icing materials are effective at temperatures as low as -30°C.  One application has already been made and the results are satisfactory.

Based on what has been learned through the Program and Service Review, combined with the results of the trials listed above, the City will continue with the pilot for the rest of the winter and will continue to monitor conditions.  Changes could be made to the Snow and Ice Control Policy later this summer.  Our goal is to ensure a safe, efficient transportation network that meets the needs of citizens and visitors alike.

For more information on the City’s website please go to