Snow Removal

When and how we clear the road for you

Seven months out of the year, the Public Works Department prioritizes snow removal and de-icing municipal roads.

To preserve the environment, spreading salt on the roads is kept to a minimum, on main arteries and on steep hills. For the most part, a combination of sand and less that 5% road salt is spread on corners and slopes.

Public safety and being environmentally responsible are our main preoccupations when setting maintenance standards based on these priorities.

To allow snow removal from the road network in an optimal and safe manner, the Municipality of Morin-Heights has regulated certain provisions governing the permitted practices and related to operations (By-law 569 2019).

The municipal road network, 107 km long, is maintained by the employees of the Public Works Department (64.8 km) assisted by a contractor (42.2 km):

Excavation et transport David Riddell

  • Route 364
  • Route 329 Ouest (du Village)
  • Blue Hills sector
  • Salzbourg sector
  • Jackson sector
  • Kirkpatrick sector
  • Bordering Wentworth-Nord, for Wentworth-Nord

What can one expect during a snowstorm?

The territory is divided into routes to ensure quality of service. As soon as there is an accumulation of 2,5 cm of snow, the snow removal vehicles will pass on all municipal roads until the end of the storm.

In case of a major snowstorm, ice storm or heavy snow fall, the time required to complete a route may double.

Normally, in the days following a storm or heavy fall, the service might take away
snow from the center if the village and crucial corners.

As soon as snow starts falling, the Department spreads abrasives on numbered roads as well as connecting roads. Further, the village’s sidewalks are cleaned.
Normally, the day after the snowstorm or snow fall, the Department starts removing the snow from the center of the village and the main intersections.

According to the quantity of snow fallen over the winter, the Department will push the snow to the side, two to four times a year, in order to maintain the minimum required width of the roads.

To allow the Department’s to give an optimum service, citizens should not:

Snow removal operations

Transporting Snow

As soon as snowbanks have reached a height which could hinder road safety, the snow has to be removed. Once again, snowbanks are removed according to the road classification on the network and space available at each location. One of the following means is used:

Of the three above-mentioned methods, transporting the snow is the most expensive since we need to use tipper trucks to get to the Saint-Sauveur depot. Hence it is used as a last resort.
Road salt use

1- Salt and abrasives

Being able to use roads, no matter how bad the weather is, is essential. We need to get to work, have access to services & activities, including emergency services. Winter road safety in a municipality depends on efficient use of road salt. Icy and snowy conditions can have dramatic repercussions on public safety, the networks’ capacity, and travel time. Spreading salt and abrasives on roads is an essential service provided by the Public Works department.

Sodium chloride (NaCl), commonly known as salt, is mixed in with the abrasives on part of our road network to improves driving conditions and road safety. We favor the use of abrasives over salt which we use only at the end of a storm in order to eliminate the thin layer of ice formed on the asphalt and only when the temperature is superior to 20°C.

2- How does it work?

Road salt will dissolve by drawing the heat from the air and asphalt, as well as the moisture in the air, snow and ice. Once dissolved, the briny solution will gradually melt snow and ice until they disappear or the salt is entirely dissolved.
Its action

Road salt acts the same way antifreeze would, meaning when the salt is mixed with water as an additive, the freezing point of the solution is inferior to water’s 0°C. Salted water freezes at -21,1°C. For this reason, salt is called an antifreeze additive since it lowers water’s freezing point.

3- Did you know?

Its impact on the Environment

In 2001, Environment Canada has determined that salt is damaging to the environment when used in excessive quantity and has encouraged municipalities to use it judiciously. The Municipality has decided to do its part using salt more efficiently without compromising public safety.

No more salt is spread on residential streets and secondary connecting roads, except if they have steep hills. In colder temperatures when salt no longer effective or when snow is packed on the road’s surface, we use abrasives such as sand or gravel. These products do not make snow melt, but help increase traction.


Parking lots are cleaned once the road network is cleared.

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