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Snow and Ice Control Service Levels

Road Plowing and Sanding

The City plows, sands and salts roads based on a priority system. The busiest arterial roads, which we identify as Priority 1 routes, are tended to first. Priority 1 snow plowing routes in Lethbridge are:
  • Whoop-Up Drive 
  • University Drive
  • Metis Trail 
  • Bridge Drive
  • Mayor Magrath Drive
  • Scenic Drive
  • 26 Avenue North
  • 28 Street North 
  • Brewery Hill 
  • 5 Avenue North (from Highway 3 to Stafford Drive) 
Priority 1 plowing routes and Priority 1 sanding routes are determined based on the roads incline, grade and traffic volume. Priority 1 routes will be plowed and sanded/salted within 24 hours of a snowfall ending. All efforts will focus on Priority 1 routes until it has stopped snowing and they are cleared.
Ice control: Anti-icing material is used before snow events on busy arterial roads that have uphill and downhill sections. These include Whoop-Up Drive, Bridge Drive and 5 Avenue North west of Stafford Drive. Applying this material before it starts snowing delays the formation of ice and prevents snow and ice from bonding to the road surface. 

Additional Service Levels:
The City of Lethbridge has different Priority1, 2 and 3 routes for plowing, sanding/ice control and snow removal. Or View our winter road maintenance interactive map for Priority 2 and 3 plowing and sanding/salting routes.

Priority 2 Routes include remaining arterials and designated collectors. These will be cleared if snowfall accumulations begin to impede traffic, after Priority 1 routes have been completed.

Priority 3 Routes include remaining collectors, controlled intersections (stops and yields) and bus routes. These will be cleared if snowfall accumulations begin to impede traffic, after Priority 2 routes have been completed.

Priority 4 - All other City-controlled roads and alleys. Typically, the City does not plow residential roads unless they become impassible for emergency vehicles and the general public with properly equipped vehicles.

With each new event, snow clearing begins with priority 1 areas. If frequent events occur, there may be delays in the clearing of lower priority routes.

TIP: You can help us keep winter roads in your neighbourhood safer by piling snow from your driveway or sidewalk onto your property, not on the road.
Did you know? On snow plowing routes, snow is plowed to the side of the road and occurs primarily on arterial roads. In residential areas, snow is plowed to the middle of the road, in windrows, so that we do not block residential driveways with plowed snow. Windrowed snow is then removed by truck. 
Other Frequently Asked Questions about snow and ice control. 

Snow Removal

Snow Removal will begin after a heavy snowfall. It involves snow first being plowed into windrows on roads designated as Snow Removal Priority Routes and then hauled away by truck.
Snow is windrowed along the centre of these designated roads for efficient pickup and to avoid blocking driveways or parked vehicles with plowed snow.

Where does all that snow go when it's hauled away?

After snow has been plowed into windrows, it is hauled to one of two designated snow dump sites in the city:
  • at the north end of University Drive
  • east of the Lethbridge Exhibition grounds.
These sites meet provincial and federal environmental regulations, and they are designed to handle the amount of snow that Lethbridge gets in a typical winter. Each site has been designed and constructed specifically to store snow and includes:
  • a mesh liner under a gravel pad
  • a storage pond for snow melt
  • grading to ensure that melting snow run off only into the storage pond 

Snow Fencing & Drifting Snow

Blowing and drifting snow can cause problems for drivers, pedestrians and City of Lethbridge work crews. It can blind drivers, cause delays and make it harder for plows to keep roads clear. For these reasons, the City of Lethbridge installs approximately 17 km of snow fencing each year in areas where blowing and drifting snow can cause problems.
Snow drifts that make roads, sidewalks, or pathways impassable are cleared according to the priorities outlined above.