The City of Saskatoon maintains more than 400 kilometres of gravel back lanes. Over time, back lanes can deteriorate, forming ruts, pot holes and low spots due to an extreme change in weather conditions, regular vehicle traffic, drainage from private properties, overgrown vegetation, and large equipment. In mid to late June, City crews begin grading gravel back lanes by neighbourhood.
Some locations qualify for capital reconstruction based on their rating in the spring city-wide condition inspection. These citizens will be notified in advance with a flyer delivered to their mailbox.
Watch Back Lane Maintenance to learn more about what to expect.
How You Can Help
- For your safety and the safety of our workers, please avoid the back lane if crews are present. This includes keeping children and pets away from the equipment at all times.
- Always return your Garbage and Recycling carts to your property after regular collection.
- To prevent deterioration of your back lane, residents should trim back any overgrown plants on their property that could block sunlight or damage passing vehicles.
- To assist crews, residents should avoid adding topsoil or other materials along the property line so that operators have full view of any potential hazards that could damage equipment or fences.
Which trees will be trimmed as part of back lane maintenance?
Overhanging and overgrown trees prevent the gravel in the back lane from drying, which contributes to its deterioration. Some branches may be trimmed to allow access for the maintenance equipment. Plant material in the lane along the right of way may also be removed as required for building a proper grade in the lane.
What causes back lanes to develop ruts and potholes or poor drainage?
Over time, gravel back lanes can deteriorate due to extreme weather changes, regular vehicle traffic, drainage from private properties, overgrown vegetation, and traffic from heavy equipment. The issue can get worse if top soil or other is used to fill these in.
What should people do to keep lanes in good condition?
Maintain trees and plants on your property so that they do not shade or over-hang into the back lane. Avoid adding material such as topsoil, planting or landscaping, and do not adjust the material along the property line to improve drainage. All of these actions can cause deterioration or make a situation worse.
Can my back lane be paved?
There is no funding available to pave existing gravel back lanes. In newer areas, where paved back lanes have been built, the cost was built into the purchase of the lots.