The spring melt is underway in Saskatoon and the city says crews are dealing with messy conditions on city streets.

“With multiple snowfalls, multiple snow events, we were interrupted a few times or snow removal operations were interrupted, which basically contributed to more snow piles being on the streets at this time of year,” said director of roads, fleet and support Goran Saric .

“Our crews are out there every day monitoring some of the flood-prone locations and some of the locations where we have historically had issues with the drainage paths.”

Dean Wilyman says he’s been putting in the work clearing snow and ice away from storm drains.

“I was out here for an hour, an hour and a half yesterday and I guess it’s going on two hours now,” he said. “Now that this trench is here and the drain’s clear, it’s starting to move.”

Saric says the city has seen 10 to 15 centimeters more snow than a typical winter season, creating several large snow piles.

“Removal of snow started a while ago, and we are still removing snow every night which is part of our prevention strategy,” he said.

The large amount of snow combined with the warming and freezing trend Saskatoon experienced in January and February means more potholes on city streets.

“Moisture is getting through the cracks and making the subsurface soft and because of that our crews have already started filling several potholes with a cold mix, that’s the material that we use at this time to fix potholes on a temporary basis,” said Saric.

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“The city’s done a better job in the last couple of years of fixing them than they did in the past, but it probably will be an issue,” said Wilyman.

Continued removal of snow and ice, as well as a higher number of potholes, could affect the city’s budget, but Saric says that will be based on what happens when the snow falls at the end of the year.

“We have definitely done some proactive planning to ensure that we have enough crews and enough staff available to handle more work than in a typical season,” he said.

“We have also contractor resources available and scheduled in case we need those, so we are prepared for more workload than in a typical season.”

Saric is also reminding drivers to slow down around city crews and keep an eye out for pylons and potholes on city streets.


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