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The City of Saint John’s newest piece of equipment may be a game changer for icy sidewalks

20-Mar-2019

Residents can expect to see a new piece of equipment on City sidewalks next winter to help crews break up ice and keep priority areas clear.  The City’s Transportation and Environment Services is exploring an innovative, environmentally-friendly approach to ice clearing with the purchase of a special unit that attaches to and rotates spikes in front of a sidewalk plow to crush ice. Once broken up into chunks, the ice can be easily removed from high pedestrian areas.  

“We are one of two municipalities in the Maritimes to have purchased the equipment as part of a pilot program,” said the City’s Deputy Commissioner of Transportation and Environment Services, Jeff Hussey. “We had a demo of the Blue Gryb rotating icebreaker in February and knew right away that it could be a solution to helping us deal with our icy sidewalks.”

The initial investment for the unit was approximately $20,000. The equipment will allow for faster icebreaking operations at low temperatures, and can break ice up to 2 inches thick. If it proves to be a success, the City may look at purchasing more units next year.

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