Under the direction of the Operations Manager, the Roads Department oversees the maintenance of over 416 kms of hard surface roads and gravel roads that we travel often. Related services that the road department is responsible for include sidewalks, bridges, roadside trees and road culverts.
Priorities are placed on highest needs (based on Ontario's Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways) and in conjunction with the municipality's annual budget and capital plan. The plan helps Southwest Middlesex to determine where large projects such as waterline or sewer replacement can be coordinated with paving projects. We also try to coordinate with County contracts for better pricing opportunities.
Leaf collection in the urban areas generally takes place in November of each year. We do our best to get your leaves collected so please be patient as winter weather approaches. It is always difficult to collect the leaves at the right time and get everything completed before winter weather arrives. Place your leaves at the curb in a pile - no need to bag them. It is also acceptable for residents to take leaves to the Trillium Transfer Station at no cost if they are loose and placed on the compost pile.
Local street sweeping in the urban areas takes place from April to October with a minimum of two cleanings per year. We also have the annual spring street sweeping program to clear out the winter salt and sand residue for all streets in the urban area; this is completed by an outside contractor in late March or early April. The County of Middlesex also performs street sweeping on sections of road within Southwest Middlesex that are under their jurisdiction. Some of those areas include the Main Streets of Glencoe, Melbourne and Wardsville as well as sections of Glendon Drive, Longwoods Road, Melbourne Road and Thames Road that run through Appin, Glencoe, Melbourne and Wardsville.
Brine Application/Dust Control
Brine application on municipal un‐paved roads serves two purposes. The first is to control the creation of dust by traffic. In the public eye this is usually the most important issue to control in order to enjoy the use of rural properties. The second advantage of applying dust control agents, and the most important to municipalities, is to provide base stabilization. Base stability depends on the different grain sizes in the gravel being able to knit together into a tight solid mass. When roads are dusty, the fine particles are being lost and the remaining gravel is becoming more and more course and unable to pack tightly because there are no fines to help hold it together. To stop this, dust control agents are used and depend on the type and concentration of salts to be effective.
Every Spring, as weather permits, Southwest Middlesex undertakes a brine application process on all un-paved roads within the municipality. Please be patient as our contractor works through hundreds of kilometers of gravel surfaced roads applying the product.
Winter Road Maintenance
The Southwest Middlesex winter road maintenance program aims to provide safe roads and sidewalks at an affordable price. Council has adopted a Winter Operations Report that our well-equipped team follow to maintain the roadways and sidewalks. Please remember that it takes time to clear the roads and sidewalks after a snowfall.
What can you do to help after a snow event?
- Be patient as we work our way through the snowfall;
- When clearing snow from sidewalks or private driveways please do not deposit snow or ice on the roadway as it creates a hazard for vehicles; the Highway Traffic Act prohibits the placing of snow or ice on a roadway;
- Help those who may not be able to shovel their driveways or sidewalks;
- Homeowners are responsible for clearing snow left at the end of their driveway by the snowplow that is clearing the roadway;
- Municipal bylaw prohibits the parking of any motor vehicle on all municipal streets/roads between the hours of 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. to enable snow removal equipment to clear the road area as completely as possible;
- Landowners are responsible for ensuring that their mailboxes are securely attached and that mailbox posts are physically sound. Southwest Middlesex will replace broken mailboxes and posts only if snow removal equipment makes physical contact with the mailbox or post;
- If you have a fire hydrant on or close to your property please clear the snow to ensure that fire services are able to access the hydrant in case of emergency;
- Keep a safe distance from plow trucks on the roads and do not attempt to pass. Vehicles attempting to pass create a safety risk for everyone on the road.