The City of Saskatoon put its snow maintenance program on hold Wednesday until further notice due to the cold weather.

With the unseasonably cool temperatures, the city said the snow pack on roadways became hard ice. 

Pat Hyde, director of public works for the City of Saskatoon, said crews are having difficulty grading under the frigid conditions. 

"They can't get the traction and then when they're trying to cut into the ice pack what is happening is the wheels are coming off the ground," Hyde said. "They're grinding, they're bumping and they're breaking away chunks of ice as opposed to ploughing snow."

Pat Hyde

Pat Hyde, director of public works, says the city is forced to wait for warmer weather. (Peter Mills/CBC)

Ice chunks pushed to the side of roads are not staying in piles and are causing obstructions on side walks.

Hyde said crews will continue to deal with icy streets where they can.

"The fact that residential streets especially are icy, we continue sand and salting on those. Priority streets are fantastic right now thanks to mother nature and the program we've been running all winter."

The Dundonald and Forest Grove neighbourhoods are being cleared today, but other areas that were scheduled for snow maintenance tomorrow and Friday are postponed.

The city says it will also target streets with significant ruts, which may include areas like Nutana and Caswell.

Parking woes

While this year's new city-wide snow clearing program has been great news for some residents, others would prefer parking to snow clearing.

"There are a lot of streets out there that are experiencing windrows that have never had them before," Hyde said. "If you look at all the priority streets that we have in the city, from the first snowfall on until we do eventually remove them, those folks have windrows from day one."

Hyde estimates the city is about 50 per cent done removing windrows from priority streets. When it comes to windrows on residential streets, Hyde said it can be more of a problem.

"We're not in a situation where we're funded to remove the snow," Hyde said. "It's the same for everybody across the city. We do the best we can to leave a location per household, if we can, but that's no guarantee."