Road Maintenance

Approaches

Birch Hills County is responsible to provide one approach to access each quarter section.  As of November 12, 2003 approaches will be required to have a minimum of a 13-meter base with a culvert measuring a minimum of 600mm in diameter where necessary.  Any additional approaches shall be installed at the expense of the landowner and must be built to the specification of the County.

If a landowner requires that an existing approach be widened, it shall be done so to the specifications of the County and at the landowner’s expense.  The landowner must supply or purchase a culvert approved by the County.  If available, Birch Hills County will sell a new culvert to the landowner.

Any additional or widened approaches must receive approval from the County prior to construction.

Brush Removal

Birch Hills County is responsible for controlling the brush within road right of ways (ROWs), Intersection Line of Sights, as well as within drainage ditches.  Where there is excessive growth, mulchers/hand/chemical are used to reduce the brush to ground level where it can then be controlled on a routine basis by means of mowing or spraying. 

Culverts

Anyone wishing to purchase a new culvert must do the following:

  • Pay for the culvert in advance of picking it up in the County Yard.
  • Supply their own fastening device (straps or chain etc.).
  • Provide a suitable safe method of transporting the culvert.
  • Verify the size and length of culvert and provide sales receipt with County personnel.

County staff will load each culvert and help ensure that you have fastened it properly. Please call the County to ensure that someone will be available to help load the culverts.

Anyone wishing to purchase a culvert should call the County office at 780-694-3793 to ensure we have it in stock.

Take a look at our Items for Sale.

Ditch Cleaning

Birch Hills County will undertake road ditch cleanouts where it is determined that it is necessary for the proper maintenance of the road and drainage system.

Ditch cleanouts required as a result of farm management practices or to drain land may be refused or allocated a low priority.  When ditch cleanout requests are refused, Birch Hills County transportation staff will explain to the landowner the reason (s) for the refusal.

When a ditch cleanout results in the redirection of water or drainage of land, the project may be referred to Alberta Environment for their review and comments.

Dust Control

For further information on the process check out the policy below.

Grader Routes

There are five grader routes in Birch Hills County, each consisting of approximately 140 miles of roadway:

  • Codesa
  • Eaglesham
  • Peoria
  • Tangent
  • Wanham

Gravel Program

  • 100% of Birch Hills County roads are gravel, totaling approximately 735 miles.
  • 60,000 tonnes of gravel is used during our Yearly Regravelling Program which covers 160 to 180 miles of roadway per year.
  • Birch Hills County contracts for the haul of gravel on an annual basis.

SNOW REMOVAL

Birch Hills County requests that when approaching snowplowing equipment please exercise extreme caution and slow down, for the safety of our employees. Our snowplowing equipment is big in nature with many blind spots, please don’t assume the operator can see you. If you have snowplowing concerns please call the County office instead of stopping our machinery.

WINTER MAINTENANCE

Plowing of gravel surface roadways should commence when snow accumulations reach 10-cm on the roadway unless drifting conditions prevail. Snow removal will be undertaken in a manner that minimizes motor grader backtracking or high blading. Snow removal will only be undertaken to an established residence or to transport agricultural products, provided the road may be opened with a motor grader. This service will be subject to the availability of equipment. Winter maintenance schedules are determined by weather conditions and at the direction of the Public Works Department or, in their absence, the CAO.

Priority is given to school bus routes, arterial roads, and medical emergencies, then local roads and Hamlets. Only one approach per residence will be cleared.

Continuous Heavy Snow Fall Plowing

In the event that we experience snowfalls similar to that during the 2013 Christmas holidays, Birch Hills County is going to implement something new to residents. The County is going to open up roads as quickly as possible using a simple two pass system. Graders will make two passes on the roads, but will not clear approaches or full intersections during this process. Efforts will be made by the graders to not pile snow at the end of a driveway by lifting the wing to spread the snow out, instead of creating a snow bank. This plowing process will cause more than usual amounts of snow accumulation at every approach and intersection.

In order for the graders to clear as many miles as possible, no roads will be assigned a priority. Once the heavy snowfall has ended, roads will be cleaned up as per daily road maintenance procedures. It is at this time that all approaches and intersections will be cleared fully.

The County hopes not to have to use this system often but asks for your patience and understanding when we do.