City’s snow crews, road maintenance equipment fully prepared for major storm

For immediate release: March 2, 2024 - 6:34 pm

*** This PSA was earlier posted to our website/and to social media, February 2 at 1:30 p.m. but failed to connect with ours News Subscribers. Our apologies for the technology problem encountered resulting in this delay.***

Environment & Climate Change Canada’s latest Winter Storm Warning forecasts a major winter snowstorm over the weekend for Saskatoon with the potential for heavy snowfall of 25-40 cmgusty winds, blowing snow, and reduced visibility at times.

With the wind picking up and snow moving into Saskatoon, City snow crews and contractors have been activated and are prepared to respond to this anticipated major snowstorm with plowing, grading and sanding/salting. The primary objective will be to maintain safety and mobility on Saskatoon’s Priority Streets despite the forecast for potentially harsh blizzard conditions.

The following equipment will be used to respond to the snowstorm:

  • 17 City graders and 16 contractor graders (additional emergency contractor graders are available, if needed)
  • 20 tandem sanders
  • 10 snowplow trucks
  • 10 one-ton sanders
  • 8 sidewalk plows and 5 other pieces of equipment for clearing City-maintained sidewalks.

During this weekend’s snowfall, City crews will plow Circle Drive, expressways and accesses to Fire Stations and Hospitals to help minimize accumulation and maintain mobility and safety for motorists. City and contractor graders will grade city Priority Streets, and sanders will be applying de-icing material as required, beginning with Circle Drive and other high speed and high traffic streets, bridges and intersections.

Blowing snow and heavy drifting is expected to impact outlying parts of the city and City crews will keep a close eye on known problem areas, and some work may have to be redone due to strong winds and ongoing drifting. We appreciate your cooperation and patience as we navigate through these weather conditions.

When a snow event (5+ cm accumulation of snow) is declared, here’s how City snow crews/contractors will prioritize response:

  • Priority 1 streets with three or more lanes like Circle Drive, Idylwyld, 22nd Street and College Drive will be plowed within 12 hours after the snowfall ends;
  • Priority 2 streets with double lanes like Clarence Avenue, McKercher Drive and Millar Avenue, as well as Saskatoon Transit routes will be graded within 36 hours; and
  • Priority 3 streets including school zones, Business Improvement District streets that don’t meet Priority 2 requirements and collector streets, as well as streets that take you through your neighbourhood like Louise Avenue, Howell Avenue and Main Street, will be graded within 72 hours.
  • Check out the Priority Street Snow Grading map for more information on what the Priority Streets are throughout Saskatoon. This map is regularly updated to provide the status of snow grading operations.

Residential streets are not included in the City’s regular winter maintenance strategy; this snowstorm’s potential impact on neighbourhood roads will be assessed after Priority 1, 2 and 3 streets are cleared. The City will reassess the situation on Monday morning and make adjustments if needed.

Road conditions deteriorate when heavy snow accumulation combines with gusty winds. And, if Saskatoon receives a heavy, sustained snowfall, the possibility for low visibility and drifting from blizzard-like conditions, streets may be difficult to get around on. To allow our maintenance crews to clear Priority Streets, and for emergency vehicles to move about, the City asks residents to consider postponing non-essential travel and stay off the roads as much as possible Saturday evening and throughout Sunday. 

If you need to go out, adjust your driving for the road conditions, leave extra room in case you need to stop suddenly and watch for blue and yellow flashing lights on road equipment. Please stay back at least 15 m from winter maintenance equipment. 

We appreciate everyone’s cooperation, patience and attention to safety as City snow crews and contractors will be working hard to keep Saskatoon moving this weekend and into next week.