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Road Maintenance

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The City places street sand (crushed quarry gravel) on City roads throughout the winter months to provide residents with safer surface conditions. Snow removal efforts assist in reducing quantities of residual street sand, however, spring melting still reveals substantial amounts of sand and dust that must be swept and cleaned.

A question often raised is "Why doesn't the City start street cleaning operations sooner?".

In actuality, we have started street cleaning earlier with our later season snow removal efforts by cleaning up the remainder of snow we collect a good portion of the winter gravel leaving streets cleaner prior to the sweeping program. Commencement of spring street cleaning requires intuition and accurate weather forecasts to predict when warm weather will persist and no further snowfalls will occur.

We require two conditions to ensure street cleaning is carried out both safely and cost effectively

  1. No further anticipated snowfalls, because once a street is cleaned, there would be an added cost and time associated with placing new gravel and then cleaning it up again
  2. Consistent pavement temperatures above -0 º Celsius so sweepers and road surfaces doesn't freeze when using water for dust control.

It should be noted that street sweeping operations will not commence any earlier than April 15th of any given year.

The City receives numerous requests from residents to remove the dust from City streets as soon as possible, but it does require a considerable amount of time to cover the 164.9 lane kilometers of paved streets and alleys. The City also has the responsibility of looking after the bypass road, which takes a certain amount of resources to look after. We try to schedule street cleaning strategically, both at night and during the day when conditions allow, collecting street sand and dust as quickly as possible. Residents can assist in the delivery speed of this operation by not sweeping their driveway debris into the street before the cleaning operation has passed.

The City of Yellowknife utilizes three street sweepers as part of its Roads and Sidewalks maintenance fleet. Street sweeping begins in April depending on the weather, and uses all three sweepers. The street sweeping process begins with the removal of the bulk gravel that is left behind from winter ice and traction control activities. When needed this is accomplished using a front end loader and a truck to scrape up the heavy gravel areas. This is done to reduce the stress on the street sweepers themselves. Once the heavy gravel is removed, the sweepers clean up the rest of the fine debris left behind. This process takes approximately two to three weeks at 32 hours per day until complete. At this point, one sweeper continues removing debris and litter throughout the duration of the summer as part of the City's Litter Control Program. Litter in the downtown core has become an issue in the last few years. To promote beautification of the City of Yellowknife, the downtown core is swept 7 days a week. Sweeping starts at 3 a.m. on weekdays and weekends to control windblown litter and debris while keeping traffic interference to a minimum. After the downtown core has been swept, the sweeper continues sweeping following the priority route.

The City would like to remind all pedestrians and motorists to use caution when approaching street sweepers as they are slow moving vehicles and may generate dust in the working area.

The City carries out street sweeping on a priority system as follows:

  • Priority #1 - major arteries and bus routes
  • Priority #2 - minor arteries and bus routes, major industrial roads, central business districts, roads adjacent to schools and city-owned properties; and  
  • Priority #3 - remainder of municipal roads.

High traffic areas and areas close to schools have a higher priority than low traffic residential roads. A few reasons why a street may have a higher priority are: high vehicle or pedestrian traffic, location of a school, street may be narrow (a public safety concern), trucked services, public or school bus transit, etc.

The City is asking residents to be patient while the spring melt is occurring. City crews are thawing culverts, pumping puddles, repairing water leaks, performing road maintenance, carrying out street sweeping to lower dust levels, and fixing pot holes. To deal with these concerns, City crews are working additional hours to improve conditions quickly while doing so in a cost-effective manner.

Street, Lane, and Sidewalk Repairs

From mid-May to mid-September, repairs are undertaken on streets, curbs, and lanes that are identified in the regular patrols and annual survey of street and sidewalk conditions. All repairs are prioritized and the most severe ones are scheduled first. The work includes:

  • patching asphalt streets to provide a smooth surface for vehicles;
  • resurfacing asphalt streets to avoid costly reconstruction;
  • filling cracks in streets to stop water from damaging the foundation;
  • grading gravel streets and lanes to maintain good drainage and an even surface;
  • placing calcium on major gravel roads to control dust;
  • repairing sidewalks; and
  • repairing curbs and gutters to improve drainage.

The City would like to remind all pedestrians and motorists to use caution when approaching street sweepers as they are slow moving vehicles and may generate dust in the working area.

rucked services, public or school bus transit, etc.rs to improve drainage.

See our Snow Removal page for information on the City's winter road maintenance.

Sidewalk Cleaning

Road Closures

Traffic Signals

 

 

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