Roads Information and FAQ’s:
With each new winter season comes questions and concerns over the winter maintenance of Municipal and District Roads. The following report will serve to answer those frequently asked questions.
- The Township of Georgian Bay is responsible for approximately 100 kilometers of Township roads, and 70 kilometers of District Roads.
- Within the Township of Georgian Bay there are Provincial Highways. Highway 400 and 69 are maintained throughout our boundaries by the MTO out of the MacTier Patrol Yard. We do not maintain Provincial Highways.
- All Township roads are maintained to the Provincial Minimum Maintenance Standard. This means that crews will be deployed, as soon as practicable, after snow accumulation reaches 10cm. Once accumulation has ended, crews clear snow to a depth less than or equal to 10cm.
- Priority is given to school bus routes and these routes must be cleared by 7am. All other roads will come second to the school bus routes.
- Post storm operations also include winging back the snow banks to allow for improved visibility at intersections/driveways; widening parking lots and bus turn arounds; ‘slushing off’ the roads if the snow pack is melting; ice blading the roads using the grader if the snow is frozen to the road surface and creating a rough road.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is the Operations Department?
A: The Operations Department is made up of 2 divisions: Public Works and Parks, Recreation & Facilities. This new title came about from a restructuring process that resulted in one Director and one Supervisor who oversee the Operations of both divisions.
Q: When will the snow be cleared from my road?
A: Roads are maintained according to the Provincial Minimum Maintenance Standards based on the classification of road. Please see the link to Roads Standards under the Operations tab on our website.
Q: My car was towed from a municipal road, who do I call?
A: Click here for a list of local towing companies.
Q: The 400 highway is in poor condition, who should I call?
A: The 400 highway is a Ministry of Transportation (MTO) responsibility and they can be reached at 705-789-2391.
Q: Can you stop putting snow at the end of my driveway?
A: An important fact to remember is that a fixed snow plough cannot carry snow around to put it where desired. The plough moves snow from the centre of the road to the side of the road, the operator cannot change that.
Q: Can you spread more salt on the roads to melt the snow?
A: We use sand with 5% salt on all of our roads because the traffic volumes are so low.
We do use additional salt if the conditions are right, but this takes into account many factors.
Some facts about salt:
- Salt becomes inactive below –12 degrees C
- 30% of the salt placed on the roadway rolls off into the ditch
- It requires constant tire action in order to work the salt into the snow/ice and melt it. If there is little traffic the salt simply melts a small hole through the snow pack and creates rough roads.
Q: Why can’t you scrape the ice off of the road?
A: When we have ice that has attached to the road surface it is very difficult to remove. It has made itself one with the road surface and must be melted. If we try to scrape it off we will tear up the surface of the road with it.
Q: My mailbox is knocked down; who is responsible for this?
A: The Township is responsible for replacing a mailbox/post only if it can be determined by the Supervisor or Lead Hand that the plough came into contact with the structure. A mailbox/post that has been knocked over by ejecting snow from the plough will be deemed structurally unstable and not the responsibility of the Township.
Q: Can vehicles park along the roadside during the winter months?
A: The Municipality’s primary goal is keeping the roads clear of snow for everyone’s safety. By-law 2001-93 provides that from the 15th day of November to 1st day of April in the following year, no person shall park a vehicle within 3.05 metres (10 feet) of the edge of any gravel, surface treatment or asphalt roadway within the Township of Georgian Bay.
Also, in accordance with the Highway Traffic Act Section 147, Subsection 7 or 10 and 13, no person shall park or stand a vehicle on a highway in such a manner as to interfere with the movement of traffic or the clearing of snow from the highway. Motorists who breach these winter parking regulations will be towed and all costs incurred will be the responsibility of the owner of the vehicle. The winter roads crew appreciates everyone's cooperation in heeding overnight parking restrictions.
Q: There is a dead animal on the road, who do I report this to?
A: Please contact our Operations Department - Public Works division – at 705-538-2337 ext 225. If you have hit this animal or there has been a vehicular accident, call the OPP immediately by dialing 911.
Q: When are half loads in effect and why?
A: Half loads are in effect from March 1st to May 31st and may be extended or reduced based on weather and road conditions. Half loads protect the structural integrity of our roads during the winter thaw when road bases are soft.
Q: I noticed a sign missing, what should I do?
A: If this is a municipal road, please contact our office at 705-538-2337 ext 225. If this is on District Road 5, 11, 12, 32, 33, 34, or 38 then please call the District of Muskoka at 1-800-281-3483.
Q: My gravel road is very dusty, what can be done about this?
A: Calcium Chloride is placed on all gravel roads every spring after the frost is out of the ground. The calcium program occurs after the gravel roads have been graded and we aim to have all gravel roads treated prior to the May 24th long weekend.
Q: Who is responsible for Noxious Weeds such as hogweed?
A: Simply stated – if they are on your property, you are. If they are within the road right of way then municipality is responsible. This is regulated under the Weed Control Act. The main purpose of the Weed Control Act, R.S.O. 1990, is to reduce the impact of noxious weeds on the industries of agriculture and horticulture. Primarily this act applies to agricultural and horticultural lands that generate income or other benefits to agriculture. This excludes lawns, gardens and private areas for personal enjoyment and leisure. Under the Weed Control Act, R.S.O. 1990 Chapter W5 Sections 3, 13, 16 and 23, you are requested to destroy all noxious weeds on your property to be in compliance. Upon failure to comply, the Municipality may enter upon said lands and have the weeds destroyed charging cost against the land as set out in the Weed Control Act.
Q: My garbage and/or recycling were not picked up, who is responsible for this service and how do I contact them?
A: The District of Muskoka is responsible for garbage and recycling door to door pick up as well as the South Bay Road and Tower Road landfill sites. They are also responsible for hazardous waste days at the landfill site and large item disposal. Contact the District of Muskoka at 1-800-281-3483.
The Township of Georgian Bay has 2 Public Works yards; one in MacTier and the other in Port Severn. All concerns relative to roads should be directed to our Operations Department – Public Works division – at 705-538-2337 ext 225.