When do we salt and sand?

Sanding is an ongoing program throughout the winter. When and where we sand depends on the road conditions and the weather.

Much like plowing, sanding priorities are based on the use and traffic volume on our streets. After frost, freezing rain or snow, we sand Purple Routes (hills, bridges, overpasses, high hazard locations and hospital accesses) and Red Routes (arterials) first. Green Routes and Orange Routes are sanded next.

We use different methods to provide traction control depending on the temperature of the roads:

  • -7°C or warmer: Salt brine is used to provide traction control.
  • -12°C or warmer: We use salt brine to pre-wet the roads and then lay down sand for added traction control in the cooler temperatures.
  • -12°C and colder: Straight sand is used as salt is not effective below -18°C.

When it becomes extremely cold and the road is bare, sand is pushed off the roads by high volumes of traffic and does not stick.

Public Works is constantly monitoring road conditions with dynamic weather conditions and fluctuating temperatures in mind. Adjustments to the sand and salt mixtures are made as necessary.

To request sanding, please call Public Works at 403-342-8238 at any time.

Sidewalk and Trail sanding

While Trails are maintained by our Parks department, Sidewalk maintenance is a shared responsibility between our Public Works crews, local Schools and property owners.

Residents and business owners can pick up free sand for ice control on the sidewalks in front of their property. The sandbox is located beside the large white tent outside of the City Civic Yards at 7721 40 Avenue, North of the main front entrance gate. Please remember to bring your own sand pail and shovel.

For more information, visit the Sidewalk and Trail Clearing page.