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Winter Road Maintenance

snow problemo!

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

Snowfall

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.

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 & Salt
  • Managing winter road conditions requires constant monitoring and adjusting as weather conditions change.
  • The selection of sand and/or salt depends on how much snow has fallen, if the street has been plowed or graded of snow, the wind speed, and temperatures.  
  • The sand and salt is pre-wet with liquid de-icer, which helps melt ice as well as ensure the salt and sand better stick to roadways (vs. being blown away).
  • Priority roads are sanded/salted as part of regular winter maintenance, along with intersections, bridges, and school zones.
  • Once the priority roads are complete, we monitor residential intersections and apply material for traction as needed.
  • Sand is used on residential streets with accumulated snow. Salt is not effective at melting deep snow because it requires too much material.

Schools and Business Districts

Schools

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 Sites

COC Valley Road - Use alternate unloading site

Effective Jan. 11, 2021, all snow haulers will be redirected to unload at an adjacent Temporary Site until further notice. Please follow and obey site signs for everyone's safety.

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The following snow storage sites are open:

  1. Temporary Site at Civic Operations Centre on Valley Road - regular area is closed * Reminder: tailgate slamming is strictly prohibited at COC sites
  2. Northwest - Wanuskewin Road (1.4 km south of Highway 11)
  3. Northeast - Central Avenue (accessible from McOrmond Drive - see map)

Snow Storage Site Map
 

 How you can help us

  • Due to the proximity of residences, tailgate slamming (caused by hard-braking to loosen snow in truck boxes) is strictly prohibited at Civic Operations Centre sites. Haulers caught violating this policy will be banned from using the COC storage sites.
  • For everyone's safety, obey the signs for entering and exiting sites. Traffic is directed to reduce collisions.
  • Unload snow as directed by onsite staff.
  • Maximum speed onsite is 25 km/h.
  • Illegal dumping and tailgate slamming should be reported to our Customer Care Centre at customercare@saskatoon.ca or 306-975-2476. ​