Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mountains out of snow hills

Sites for putting all our white stuff a tobogganer's dream

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It's illegal to slide down what would be Winnipeg's greatest toboggan hills.

Any extreme Krazy Karpeter would jump at the chance to launch themselves down one of the city's four snow-dump sites, but unfortunately, trespassing is forbidden.

That's at least partly because there is a never-ending stream of trucks dumping off load after load of snow at McPhillips Street south of the Perimeter Highway, at the South End Water Pollution Control Centre Site near St. Mary's Road and the south Perimeter and at the West End Water Pollution Control Centre Site on Wilkes Avenue.

The last site, near the intersections of Kenaston and McGillivray boulevards, has been shut down for the winter because it's full.

The city has a total capacity of three million cubic metres of storage at the four sites, and two-thirds of that space is currently being used, said Jim Berezowsky, manager of streets maintenance for the City of Winnipeg. Even with a few more weeks of winter still to come, we should be good.

"We're not anticipating a snow-storage issue," he said.

It's almost impossible to drive within a couple of kilometres of any of the sites and not notice the enormous mounds of snow.

Berezowsky said they're made up of snow from across the city, including streets and sidewalks, parking lots, private businesses and anywhere else that needs snow removal.

Once the snow is dropped off at one of the dumps, plows distribute it around the "mountains."

As incredible as it might sound, Berezowsky said Winnipeg hasn't received a record amount of snow this year. The problem, he said, is with the coldest winter in more than three decades, there have only been a few days since November in which the temperature has risen above freezing.

"The amount of snow that has fallen has stayed above ground. (There's been) no melting. That's our biggest issue right now," he said.

And just how long does it take man-made mountains of snow to melt? Could we interest you in a snowball fight on Canada Day?

The summer sun and temperatures into the 20 C and 30 C range won't be enough to make the snow mountains disappear on their own, Berezowsky said.

"It will take some additional equipment to assist in the melt. We'll probably have to come in here in July and August so we get a proper melt and be ready for snow storage next winter season," he said.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 3, 2014 0

History

Updated on Monday, March 3, 2014 at 10:32 AM CST: Updates location of McPhillips snow dump.

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