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Web cameras offer live view of city streets

Webcam view of the Vedder River Bridge – a chronically congested spot during the summer months.  - City of Chilliwack
Webcam view of the Vedder River Bridge – a chronically congested spot during the summer months.
— image credit: City of Chilliwack

A network of web cameras will be providing crucial road and weather monitoring information to Chilliwack officials — as well as the public.

The cameras are focused on locations across town from the lofty heights of Teskey Way or Ryder Lake Road to the low-lying Ballam Road, next to the Fraser River.

Still photographs are uploaded to the city website from the web cams, including shots of key intersections, mountains, the highway and Chilliwack airport.

“The cameras were a great help for road supervisors dealing with snow and ice,” said Glen MacPherson, the city’s director of operations. “Prior to this, they would have had to drive around the city for hours to gauge the amount of snow and ice on the ground.”

Now they can just log onto the website, and send plowing or salt truck resources where they’re needed, or dispatch flag people to help keep stalled traffic moving.

The cameras will increase operational efficiency, as well as public safety, he said.

They can also assist in monitoring freshet levels on the Fraser River, or assessing if summertime traffic is backing up on the Vedder bridge for example.

As of this week, images from web cams can be viewed online at www.chilliwack.com/cameras.

“I’m so pleased our city has been able to take advantage of this technology,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “While I know it’s a staff tool, but it will also be handy for the public in winter when they’re thinking about travel plans.”

Coun. Sue Attrill praised the addition of the new web cams.

“I just think it’s a really great idea,” she said.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

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