The signs that spring IS coming (believe it or not)

Despite the snow this past weekend and the cold last week, there are ongoing signs that spring is, indeed, on the way.

Sledding hills were officially closed March 20th

The City of Ottawa has closed its 56 approved sledding hills for the season due to milder temperatures, which have resulted in unsafe conditions for sledding. The public is urged to keep personal safety in mind and remain off the sledding hills.

Notification of the re-opening of the hills in the winter of 2014-15 will be available on the City’s website at ottawa.ca.

Even with the fresh pile of snow that we received on the weekend, it's best to forego the sledding hills and look to other fun outdoor activities.

Seasonal load restrictions are now in effect

Last Monday (March 24), seasonal load restrictions began. Commercial vehicles or trailers with a gross vehicle weight in excess of five tonnes or 11,000 lbs. per axle are prohibited on roads where restriction signage is posted, and on all truck routes identified as restricted on the Truck Route Maps (Urban Truck Routes and Rural Truck Routes).

These restrictions also apply to all non-truck routes. Heavy vehicles that exceed weight limits on restricted load roadways during the spring thaw period will be subject to fines.

During the spring thaw period, some roads cannot withstand heavy vehicle loads. Every year, the City monitors thaw progression by utilizing the forecast temperature data to calculate the Thaw Index. When the Thaw Index reaches its threshold value, the load restrictions are imposed. Once the pavement strength has been restored, the load restrictions are removed.

For further information, please visit ottawa.ca.

Ice breaking, blasting and thawing

It's always important this time of year to be cautious of ice on local bodies of water. It may look solid, but that can be deceiving. Avoid going out on the ice to be on the safe side.

And since we're on the subject of ice, the City of Ottawa has been doing flood prevention on the Rideau River for over 100 years. The workers get to use some pretty fun looking equipment to prevent ice damming that can create local flooding. Watch this video to see how they blast the ice to prevent flooding of the river each year!

Now let's hope the weather starts to warm up!

Seasonal load restrictions

During the spring thaw period, typically early March to mid-May, some City of Ottawa roads cannot withstand heavy vehicle loads.  Every year, the City monitors thaw progression by utilizing the forecast temperature data from Environment Canada and Weather Network to calculate the Thaw Index. 

When the Thaw Index reaches its threshold value, the load restrictions are imposed. Depending on the progression of the thaw, restrictions can come into effect quickly, sometimes with only a few days notice. The City also conducts deflection testing to monitor pavement strength as the thaw progresses.  Once the pavement strength has been restored, the load restrictions are removed.

As of 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, March 13, 2013 commercial vehicles or trailers with a gross vehicle weight in excess of five tonnes or 11,000 lbs. per axle are prohibited on roads where restriction signage is posted, and on all roads identified as restricted on the Truck Route Maps (Urban Truck Routes [PDF – 827 KB] and Rural Truck Routes [PDF – 1.5 MB]). These restrictions also apply to all non-truck routes.

Heavy vehicles that exceed weight limits on restricted load roadways during the spring thaw period will be subject to fines.

Local restrictions will remain in effect on the identified City roads until further notice (typically, mid May). For further information on seasonal load restrictions, please call 3-1-1.

Seasonal load restrictions for heavy vehicles

REMINDER: During the spring thaw period, many roads in the City of Ottawa cannot withstand heavy loads. As of 6 pm Thursday, March 15, 2012, all commercial vehicles or trailers with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 5 tonnes or 11,000 lbs. per axle are prohibited on roads where restriction signage is posted, and on all roads identified as restricted on the 2012 Truck Route Map.
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