Municipal Snow Plows Are At A Crossroads

(BlackburnNews.com photo)

Chatham-Kent and Essex County say their plows can’t take-up the slack long-term if a provincial contractor is unable to continue clearing snow from local highways.

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is meeting with Carillion Canada this week to keep their provincial snow plows rolling in places like Chatham, Windsor and London.

Miguel Pelletier, Chatham-Kent’s Director of Public Works, believes if local snow plows were called to clear provincial highways, municipal roads would be pushed back because Hwy. 401 and Hwy. 40 would become priorities. Pelletier also says Carillion Canada has specialized highway equipment that the municipality doesn’t have.

Essex County Engineer Tom Bateman says his snow plows can assist in an emergency but he doesn’t have enough plows or personnel to plow highways 401, 3 and 77 permanently unless there’s a transfer.

Carillion Canada has advised provincial officials that winter maintenance services are continuing uninterrupted at this time.

Transportation Minister Stephen Del Duca tweeted that the MTO “is continuing to look at all of its options should this situation change” but the MTO won’t say if they involve other contractors.

Parent company, Carillion UK, has announced that it was forced into bankruptcy, putting 6,000 Canadian jobs in jeopardy.