The City of Winnipeg is sanding main roads after days of frustration for motorists navigating bumpy, icy routes.

“They’re bad,” said Cheryl Burnshine, a foot-care nurse who drives to and from her appointments every day. “It’s very icy, and with all the ruts, it’s hard to manoeuvre.”

Saturday saw a massive dump of snow blanket Winnipeg, and what it left behind were roads in rough shape. The city deployed 300 plows to start digging out the soft white stuff, but a lot of ice was left behind.

Motorist Mirty Cheater said the roads are the worst he has ever seen in the city.

“This is a four-wheel, and I’m having a hard time,” he said.

Winnipegger Raelene Dziedzic concurred, saying, “You’re getting chucked around a lot!”

And it’s not just inconvenience that’s troubling residents of the River City.

Manitoba Public Insurance anticipates it will get more than 1,000 collision claims by the end of the day on Monday, and about 17,000 this month alone.

Those numbers are up by 1,500 from December 2012 and 5,300 from December 2011.

Dziedzic pointed to one possible explanation: Winnipeggers aren’t driving on pavement anymore. “You’re just driving on ice and snow,” she said.

On Monday, graders were finally deployed, and officials expect it will take until Wednesday for crews to break up frozen snow and ice on main routes.

City Coun. John Orlikow isn’t impressed with that turnaround time or the initial plowing efforts.

“Why is it not going down to the pavement? Why aren’t they sanding it? It’s about safety!” he said. “Is it about budget? I really, really hope not.”

Snow clearing on residential streets

City officials surprised some residents on Monday by announcing they aren't going to plow residential streets for now. 

Despite getting a massive dump of snow on Saturday, officials said they weren't about to send plows out to residential areas.

The reason? Another snowfall is expected on Friday, so crews will reassess after grading the other roads down to the pavement.