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Public Works Manager Pat Hyde says city crews are doing their best to grade residential streets, but thick ice is causing problems. (David Shield/CBC)

The City of Saskatoon says clearing residential streets has become more difficult than expected.

As of Friday, 21 graders were working through Saskatoon neighbourhoods, clearing paths across some of the city's worst roads. Crews were working 24 hour shifts, trying to grade roads as quickly as possible.

But it hasn't been an easy process. Many of these roads haven't seen a grader all year long and months of packed snow had created hard blocks of ice.

Public Works Branch Manager Pat Hyde said the process has been very slow. Streets that would normally take minutes to clear were taking hours.

"There's two crescents in Briarwood where we had two graders such as this running in tandem," he said. "It took six hours to clear two crescents, it was so thick and so hard. And this is an example of what we're dealing with day to day."

Snow Clearing

The following neighbourhoods were scheduled to be graded on Friday:

  • Briarwood
  • Confederation Park
  • Fairhaven
  • Lakeview
  • Meadowgreen
  • Mount royal
  • Pacific Heights
  • Parkridge
  • Silverwood Heights

Ward 5 councillor Randy Donauer said he's heard complaints from many of his constituents, having received at least 100 calls about snow clearing every day. 

"People are pretty frustrated, and I don't blame them," he said. "It's sort of an unprecedented situation that we've got here with the amount of snow and ice and ruts that we have."

Some councillors were considering changing the policy on snow clearing in Saskatoon. Currently, the city does clear main streets, but residential streets are left alone unless they become unmanageable.