After the last few days of frigid conditions and now a fresh blanket of snow Wednesday, Saskatoon’s road issues continue and the treacherous driving situation is posing problems.
Henry Marles drives up to 17 hours a day on Saskatoon roads operating his food delivery service.
He says this winter’s ice cover is some of the worst he’s seen.
“A couple times I’ve come really close, you’re looking at this person and they’re holding onto the steering wheel knowing they’re going to hit you. It gets scary. It does get scary,” Marles, the owner of Rocket Courier, told CTV News.
Since a lot of his deliveries are to residential areas those are his biggest concern because he witnessed six accidents this week.
“You go on these side streets and you’ll see people sliding right through and into oncoming traffic,” Marles says.
He’s lived in the city since 1990 and says he takes all necessary precautions by driving for the road conditions because his livelihood depends on it.
Winter driving conditions are nothing new for him, but he says this year there are some different circumstances to deal with: more snow and ice collecting beside the driving lanes a result of it being pushed to the side by the grader.
“It sort of builds up and builds up as they’re going, and it creates this little slope. When you get close enough to the curb, it will spit you back out into the road. I had a driver that did a 180 because of those ruts,” he said.
SGI has also seen an uptick in the amount claims this week in Saskatoon.
“For SGI and for the auto repair industry they’re going to be seeing a lot of those claims coming through their shops,” spokesperson Tyler McMurchy with SGI told CTV News.
He said there will likely be more claims filed for this week since many come in after the crash happens.
City of Saskatoon roadways manager Tracy Danielson said they are dealing with more ice than usual this year because of the melt-freeze scenario.
“City crews have been battling ice this season, more than usual. This is due to a combination of rain and wet, heavy snow that put a lot of moisture on the streets, and intermittent periods of melting temperatures followed by big drops in temperature that created ice,” she said in a statement.
She said it takes multiple passes to address icy conditions on Saskatoon’s streets, and the road condition can change as quickly as the temperatures change.