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Winter Road Maintenance

snow problemo!

Thanks snow much for driving extra carefully!

When the white stuff hits, rest assured our crews are working around the clock to keep you and the roads you rely on safe. Here’s the scoop…

Snow Grading


When it snows, City plows keep Circle Drive and priority street driving lanes clear.

 What you can expect from us

  • De-icing and grading occurs on high-traffic streets, beginning with Priority 1 streets (Circle Drive).
  • As Priority Streets are graded, snow is stored in the median or along parking lanes.
  • River Landing, bus malls and bike lanes are cleared overnight following priority street grading.
  • Sidewalks next to City-owned facilities and other pathways are cleared. 
  • Snow removal occurs in business improvement districts following priority street grading.
  • Snow removal of stored snow (windrows) along Priority 2 and 3 streets will occur periodically to improve visibility for road users.

Snow Events

A Snow Event may be called when there is a combination of 5 cm or more of accumulated snow along with reduced temperatures, high winds, and drifting snow. Under these conditions snow grading is initiated.

 What you can expect from us

  • Extra city crews and outside contractors help out during and following a snow event for a quicker response.
  • De-icing and grading occurs based on the following Priority Street System:
    • Priority 1: Highest traffic streets - will be plowed within 12 hours after a snowstorm ends.
    • Priority 2: Rapid transit bus routes and busy streets - will be graded within 36 hours.
    • Priority 3: Main streets, school zones and residential pathways - will be graded within 72 hours
  • If another snowfall or blowing snow occurs within the 72-hour timeframe, crews may be required to return to Priority 1 streets, causing clearing to take longer.

Open Snow Event Grading Map


City-wide Snow Grading to Prevent Rutting

 How you can help us

  • City-wide neighbourhood grading will occur when the average snowpack reaches 15 centimetres (6 inches), to prevent the development of extreme ruts.
  • Grading will occur later in the season to reduce the time that snow piles, known as windrows, adversely affect parking. 
  • The City will post Yellow No Parking signs to notify drivers in advance of grading. Remove your vehicle to avoid getting ticketed or towed. 

Sand and Salt

The use of sand or salt can vary depending on how much snow has fallen, if the street has been graded, the wind speed and temperatures (current and forecasted). 

Priority routes are sanded/salted as part of regular winter maintenance. The City sands residential intersections and school zones to improve vehicle traction. Crews respond to developing icy conditions as quickly as resources permit, providing 24 hour a day, 7 day a week coverage. 

-10°C to 0°C - We pre-wet potash salt with a liquid de-icer to help it stick to the softening ice. The salt melts and dries up the ice on roads where there is little or no snowpack.

-10°C to -20°C - We pre-wet a sand and potash salt mixture with a liquid de-icer to help it stick to the ice. 

-20°C and colder - We apply sand mixed with 5% potash salt to icy locations; however, it quickly blows around with heavy traffic, so we return as needed. Salt is only effective above -12°C.

Snow Route Parking Ban

The City may declare a Snow Route Parking Ban if the snowfall is extreme. Streets identified on a Snow Route are priority roadways for snow grading because they ease the flow of traffic throughout our city.

There are two snow routes, the Green Circle Snow Route and the Blue Square Snow Route. The routes are marked with permanent No Parking Snow Route signs, with a metal plate indicating if it is a green or blue route. The Green Circle Snow Route Parking Ban will always be declared first. 

 What you can expect from us

  • Snow Route declarations will be made at either 7:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m.
  • You will have a minimum of 8 hours notice to move your vehicle before the parking ban takes effect.
  • Parking bans are in effect for 24 hours.

 How you can help us

  • Please remove your vehicle to avoid getting a $100 ticket or towed.

Sign up for Snow Route Parking Ban Alerts

Receive direct communication from the City when a Snow Route Parking Ban is declared by signing up to the City’s emergency mass alert system.

Sign Up For notifynow


Schools and Business Districts


Snow is removed periodically from designated school zone areas to increase visibility of students during pick-up and drop-off.

Before the snow is removed, it is stored in snow piles, known as windrows. The windrows can present hazards if a student attempts to climb on them.

 What you can expect from us

  • Windrows are removed if they exceed a height of 60 centimetres.
  • Windrows will be removed outside of school hours.

Business Districts

 What you can expect from us

  • Once priority roads are graded following a snow event, snow removal will occur on the remaining Business Improvement District streets.

Snow Melt

When warm weather arrives, the snow and ice can melt quickly. 

 What you can expect from us

  • City crews will clear snow from streets this winter to reduce snow melt when the weather warms up
  • Graded snow will be stored in piles along the middle and/or the side of the road to slow down snow melt and reduce flooding around catch basins
  • On warm days, our crews will begin defrosting catch basins and clearing gutters to improve drainage
  • We keep a close eye on important intersections prone to flooding in a fast melt

 How you can help us

Snow Storage Site

Two snow storage sites closed for the season

As of 10:00, March 27, Wanuskewin Road and Central Avenue snow storage sites will be closed. The snow storage site at the Civic Operation Centre on Valley Road, west of the Saskatoon Landfill access, will remain open for the next few weeks. Users are reminded to please unload snow on the north face. 

The City operates three snow storage sites where haulers can unload snow from public and private property.

  • The Civic Operations Centre* is open 24/7, located on Valley Road, west of the Saskatoon Landfill access
    *Users are asked to please unload snow on the north face.
    *To reduce the noise for residents, please respect the no-tailgate slamming policy.
  • CLOSED FOR THE SEASON: Northwest - Wanuskewin Road (1.4 km south of Highway 11)
  • CLOSED FOR THE SEASON: Northeast - Central Avenue (Accessible from McOrmond Drive - see map)

Snow Storage Site Map

 How you can help us