Freezing rain, black ice create dangerous conditions throughout Edmonton region

Edmonton Transit Service parked its buses from about 7:30 a.m. to nearly 9 a.m. on Thursday due to icy roads throughout the city. 

An ETS spokesperson said the decision was made because of the extreme road conditions and to keep staff and riders safe. 

Freezing rain alerts were issued for the capital region and areas near Drayton Valley, Vegreville, Smoky Lake, and Wetaskiwin.

Between 5 a.m. and noon, 129 collisions were reported to Edmonton police, the large majority of which resulted in property damage only. In five crashes, people were hurt. In six incidents, drivers involved didn't stay at the scene. 

Outside Edmonton, Mounties said poor road conditions and black ice were factors in nearly 20 crashes on highways around Edmonton. In one, a semi driver was killed in a three-semi pileup on Highway 2 between Edmonton and Calgary. Another serious crash killed two and closed a highway north of Edmonton.

At one point, traffic through Spruce Grove west of Edmonton wasn't moving faster than 30 km/h. 

The Greater St. Albert Catholic and Parkland school divisions both cancelled morning bus service because of the freezing rain. 

At noon, ETS didn't have the total number of its buses that had been involved in collisions and was still experiencing delays with its On Demand and DATS service. 

Edmonton's LRT service was unaffected. Fare transfers were to be recognized.

City crews were sent out to sand sidewalks and roads, and salt bridges, hills, river valley stairs and bike lanes while working through arterial and collector roads.

More information about road closures caused by collisions can be found online at Alberta 511.