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Winnipeg pedestrians climb sidewalk ‘mountains’ as city continues cleanup

Winnipeg pedestrians climb sidewalk ‘mountains’ as city continues cleanup
WATCH: After the recent blast of winter, city crews used 400 pieces of equipment attempting to clear priority one and two sidewalks and roads. Global's Timm Bruch reports.

The city said Tuesday the sidewalk plows are on their way, but the machines aren’t moving fast enough for many Winnipeggers.

Pedestrians were left scaling snow piles blocking sidewalks — many of which were a single, thin man-made pathway — on their way to and from work as the city rushes to clear major roads.

RELATED: Most Winnipeggers not satisfied with snow removal on residential sidewalks: survey

City of Winnipeg acting manager of street maintenance Cheryl Anderson blamed packed snow for crews missing a 36 hour priority clearing target.

“The snow has been a bit heavier for the sidewalk plows to push,” Anderson said. “So it’s taken a bit longer.”

After the blast of winter Sunday night and Monday morning, city crews are driving 400 pieces of equipment to priority one and two sidewalks and roads. As of Tuesday afternoon, Anderson said they’re about 60 per cent done the work.

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The other 40 per cent was very noticeable to some Winnipeg walkers.

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“It’s terrible,” one woman said. “As sure footed as I am, even I had a tough time walking through the mountain piled up.”

“They’re horrible,” said another pedestrian. “There’s two or three feet of snow in some places. I kind of fell down a few times.”

The city is now aiming for a Wednesday morning deadline for priority cleaning, but with 2,900 kilometers of sidewalks to clear, some Winnipeggers have started shoveling themselves.

“If a citizen decides to go out and clear the snow on their own, it’s up to the citizen,” Anderson said. “The sidewalks are done the same way as the streets.”

READ MORE: Winnipeg sidewalk clearing going slow after major snowfalls

On Tuesday morning, it appeared street clearing and sidewalk clearing crews were on different schedules. Many roads were cleared, but adjacent sidewalks were not; resulting in six foot piles of snow on dozens of corners.