City crews are taking to the streets to make sure Saskatoon isn’t stuck in ruts this spring.
With conditions hovering around the melting point this week, workers have started grading in residential neighbourhood to prevent severe snow and ice ruts.
“We are trying to get a leg-up on the spring melt,” said Brandon Harris, the director of roadways and operations, in a news release Tuesday.
“With daytime temperatures forecast to stay around zero, and overnight lows below freezing this week, it could make for some icy and rutted residential streets.”
Crews started rut cutting work last week in neighbourhoods including Kensington, Evergreen, Hampton Village, Rosewood and the North Industrial area.
On Monday, graders started in the downtown core and will continue working outward – first to the historic neighbourhoods within Circle Drive – before moving beyond.
Graders are lumbering along Dufferin Ave right now to get rid of ice ruts. Crews are "zipping around" the city to shave the ice off roads, and clearing basins for water drainage (hand crews with ice picks doing this) #yxe pic.twitter.com/q0UWSwcAq2
— Chris Vandenbreekel (@Vandecision) March 13, 2018
“We are inspecting and will shave-down the worst streets first, but also need to work around garbage and recycling schedules to avoid carts placed for collection,” Harris noted.
The city is encouraging drivers to use extra caution when going through puddles and slow down as road conditions change in this type of weather.
With daytime melting, ice may form overnight and cause slippery roads and sidewalks.
What to watch for
The city said in order for crews to take full advantage of the warm weather, and complete as many streets as soon as possible, they will not use high-visibility yellow “No Parking” sandwich boards.
Instead, graders will go around parked vehicles, keeping catch basins clear and maximizing on-street parking where possible.
The city noted snow will be stored in the parking lanes and remain until melting.
During the rut-shaving work, many other roadway and drainage programs will continue:
- Monitoring and salting/ sanding
- Pothole patching with cold mix and infra-red hot mix asphalt
- Catch basin defrosting to relieve large puddles
- Utility cut maintenance until gravel can be permanently patched with hot mix asphalt
- Snow removal on high-traffic priority streets at night
- Sidewalk/ pathway snow clearing
How to help
The city also released a list of ways people living in Saskatoon can help before and during the melt:
- Slow down when encountering a pool of water to avoid the possibility of vehicle damage and splashing pedestrians.
- Be extra cautious on sidewalks where ice may form.
- Learn about reducing your risk of flooding due to snow melt and, when safe to do so, help clear snow, ice and debris from the catch basins in your area.
- When safe to do so, report icy locations, emergency flooding concerns, and potholes to the 24-hour Customer Service Centre at 306-975-2476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Watch for blue and amber flashing lights on maintenance equipment. If you encounter equipment on the road, slow down, remain at least 15 metres (2.5 car lengths) behind, and be ready to stop