Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel apologized Friday for how the city has handled snow removal over the last month. (CBC)

Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel apologized Friday for the poor job the city has done removing snow from streets.

"I apologize," Mandel said. "This should have been done better and it's really all of our fault."

Crews have been battling to keep up with an accumulation of snow that started with an early January storm that was described in a city report as a "once in 20-year event".

The recent warming trend softened the ice-hard road surface, making streets largely impassable.

The city had hoped snow on residential streets would remain frozen until plows and graders could finish the main roads, but Mandel suggested that wasn't realistic.


The city promises all residential roads will be cleared of snow by Feb. 5.

"We have to realize that the weather fluctuates so quickly here," he said. "We need to very quickly get in neighbourhoods and get this done."

The city failed to keep residents informed on snow removal, Mandel added. He asked administration for a plan on how to tell citizens when their neighborhood will be plowed.

Transportation general manager Bob Boutilier and other city officials will hold daily media conferences until all neighbourhoods are cleared. A list of when every Edmonton neighbourhood is scheduled for plowing is posted on the city's website.

To date, the city has plowed 61 of 270 neighbourhoods, completing about 20 to 25 each day, Boutilier said.

"We currently have every available grader that we can get our hands on out there doing the work," he said. The graders will stay in the neighbourhoods until the roads are done.

Boutilier expects every road will be plowed by Feb. 5.