The City of Saskatoon is struggling to shave down all the icy ruts on residential roads — with a big waiting list and four of its graders with special ice blades breaking down in recent days.
"We're into an ice-carving event and it is brutal," said Mike Gutek, the city's general manager of infrastructure services.
"It's taking anywhere from 4 to 8 times as long — it's very hard on the machinery."
Saskatoon and other Saskatchewan cities have seen anywhere from one to two metres of snow falling since the fall.
More ruts formed last week when the weather warmed up.
Now, the weather has turned colder — it was around -20C last night — and the ruts are frozen solid.
Throughout the city, tires and undercarriages are getting battered as cars fall in and out of the deep, icy slots.
Partly as a result, there's been a dramatic increase in the number of drivers filing claims with the city for vehicle damage because of bad roads.
From January to February there were 18 claims, while in April so far there have been 95.
The city is focusing its efforts on shaving down the streets with the worst ruts.
The worst cases are those where people call the city after getting stuck on their own neighbourhood streets, Gutek said.
"Easily over 100 have needed a push or need some help," he said.
The city has 25 machines out on the streets and hopes to get caught up on the rut backlog by the end of the week.
"We are making progress," Gutek said. "We are fighting the ice."