Snow clearing

Quesnel Snow Removal

Each winter the Public Works Department maintains, in a safe and passable condition, more than 146 kilometres of roads, streets and as well as the many kilometres of sidewalks and trails within the municipality. We consistently try to accomplish this task in the most cost-effective manner possible while maintaining a high level of service to you.

Snow clearing guide

The snow clearing guide explains how the City's snow clearing operations work. See the guide below:

Operations and areas

The City is responsible for the plowing, sanding and removal of snow on all streets within the City of Quesnel boundaries with the exception of major highways for which the Ministry of Highways, through their contractor, Emcon Services, are responsible.

The following streets within the City of Quesnel boundaries are maintained by Emcon:

  • Highway 97 North
  • Front Street including Moffat Bridge Loop
  • Legion Drive
  • Carson Ave.and Highway 97 South

The City is responsible for removing windrows of snow on these streets once they have
been plowed.

Generally 4” or more of snow constitutes a major plow, which means that all available
equipment will start early and all areas of the City are covered.

Area 1

Johnston Flats and Subdivisions, North Star Road and Carson Sub Phase II

A loader plow begins at Johnston Ave Flats and North Star Road, followed by the streets and hills leading to Carson School. From there, the rest of Johnston Subdivision and over to Carson Subdivision Phase II is plowed.

Area 2

Downtown Core, North Quesnel and Two and Three Mile Flat

This area is usually plowed one day after initial plowing starts. Plowed by two road graders and two backhoes, one of which clears windrows from intersections and one that clears all City-owned parking lots. The graders start at 4 a.m. and begin plowing the immediate downtown core which includes Reid St, McLean St, Kinchant St, Shepherd Ave, St Laurent Ave and Barlow Ave. This area must be completed by 8 a.m. to accommodate downtown traffic. From there the graders complete all other areas of North Quesnel.

One grader then continues into the Two and Three Mile Flat area while the other grader and backhoe move into West Quesnel.

Removing the windrows of snow in the downtown core usually starts at 6 a.m. A loader mounted snow blower and 6 - 10 dump trucks are used to remove the windrows from the middle of streets. It usually it takes about three days to remove windrows. After heavy
snow falls, it will take much longer.

Area 3

All Areas East of Baker Creek and West of the Fraser River

This area is plowed using a sand truck with an underbody plow and begins by doing major roads and hills first and then proceeds in order through the residential streets.

Area 4

All Areas West of Baker Creek and North of Anderson Drive

This area is plowed with a loader plow and begins with major thoroughfares and hills. Once complete, plowing continues in the residential areas.

Area 5

All Areas South of Anderson Drive

This area is plowed with a sand truck using an underbody plow. The sand truck is sometimes needed for intersection sanding, resulting in the area being plowed by equipment that is finished their area, this could delay snow clearing in this area.

Area 6

South Quesnel / Southills Area

This area is plowed with a rental grader. Main roads such as Quesnel - Hydraulic Rd, Juniper Rd, Rita Rd, Chew Rd and bus routes will be opened up first with a sand truck with an underbody plow.

When the loader plow in Area 1 has completed it’s route, usually 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., it returns to the Works Yard and mounts the snow blower on it’s loader and begins to pick up snow in the downtown core. If no further snow falls during the day, all streets can be plowed in a 12 to 14 hour day. Removing the windrows from the middle of the road will take a day or two longer.


In the event of a major snow or ice storm, the following schedule is used:

  1. Priority list streets are plowed and sanded using sand trucks fitted with underbody plows.
  2. Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 are plowed and sanded.
  3. Area 5 is plowed and sanded.
  4. Windrows are loaded into dump trucks using a snow blower and hauled away.

The Priority List streets are continuously sanded and/or plowed during the winter season.
The snow removal crews work variable shifts to ensure maximum coverage. From Monday
through Friday there is continuous coverage from 4 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. On Saturdays and Sundays there is coverage from 6 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. All snow removal coverage outside of these hours is considered overtime.

In the event of a major snow or ice storm after hours, the Director of Operations, Public Works Supervisor or current on-call person is responsible for calling in the snow removal equipment. Our first response units in the off hours are our combination sander/plow trucks who start with the Priority List (see page 2). Any further call-out of snow plowing equipment is at the discretion of the Director of Operations or the Public Works Supervisor.

Priority list

Snow crews start on the Priority List at 4:00 a.m. or 6:00 a.m., seven days per week during winter months. The Priority List is plowed and sanded using sand trucks fitted with underbody plows. The goal is to open up the main collector roads to provide a safe passage for motorists.
Graders or loader mounted plows are then used on these streets after they have plowed their specific routes.

  1. Moffat Bridge and approaches (both ends including North Fraser Dr. on ramp)
  2. Lewis Dr. Hill including Donnelly St./Dodds Ave.
  3. Abbott Dr. including the top hill
  4. Flamingo St. / Perry St. / Lark Ave. from Bettcher St. to Voyageur School / Bettcher St. and Blair St. loop
  5. Marsh Dr. / Anderson Dr. / West Fraser Rd. to Ruric Spring Rd.
  6. Elliott St.
  7. North Fraser Dr. to Mills Rd.
  8. Front St. loop / Legion Dr.
  9. Johnston Bridge loop
  10. Johnston Ave. / North Star Rd. to Cariboo Pulp & Paper
  11. Sword Rd to Weldwood junction
  12. Graham Ave. to access Carson School
  13. Campus Way
  14. Nadeau St. onto highway
  15. South Quesnel highway frontage roads (Valhalla Rd. to Extra Foods)
  16. Hydraulic Rd. to Dragon Lake Boat Launch
  17. Coach Rd. / Gavlin Rd. / Enemark Rd. loop (bus route)
  18. Sanderson Rd. / Thompson Rd. / Neighbour Rd. / Phillips Rd. loop
  19. Fiege Rd. from Sanderson Rd. to Pederson Rd.
  20. Westland Rd. to Dennis Rd. to Ryan Rd. to Gassoff Rd. back to Westland Rd. (tranist route)
  21. Pierce Cres. to Picard Ave.
  22. Picard Ave. up from Pierce Cres.
  23. Picard Ave. / Paley Ave. loop below Pierce Cres.
  24. Baker Dr.
  25. Hartley St. to 7-11 Store to English Ave. (bus route)
  26. Evans Dr. / Hoy St. / English Ave. / Harcourt Ave./Hill St.
  27. Bouchie St. hill
  28. Doherty Dr./Ritson Ave.
  29. Wade Ave.
  30. Pinecrest Rd.
  31. Rome Ave. / Brownmiller Ave.
  32. Sutherland Ave. to Catholic School
Snow clearing methods

Our snow removal crews employ multiple methods of snow plowing:

  1. Windrowing - plowing snow to the middle of the street. This is done on streets that have sidewalks on both sides or no room is available to push the snow off to the side (e.g. downtown core and main thoroughfares). This snow is then loaded into trucks with the snow blower and removed.
  2. Plowing one-way - Where there is a sidewalk on one side of the street, the snow is pulled off the sidewalk and then all snow is taken across to the opposite side. This will vary on heavy snowfalls and on weekend plowing when the snow will be taken both ways.
  3. Plowing both ways - Snow is removed from the streets by taking snow to both sides.
  4. Sidewalk Snow Plowing - The two skid steer loaders used for sidewalk cleaning begin at 3:30 a.m. to get ahead of our graders and push the snow from the sidewalk into the street before the grader passes. Plowing begins in the outskirts of the downtown core and North Quesnel, then proceeds to the West side. They can do all City sidewalks in a 12 hour shift. The following day, the River Walk trails are cleared provided no additional snow falls. The downtown core and all businesses are responsible for snow removal from the sidewalk abutting their property (Bylaw 394 A).
  5. Driveway Clearing - If there has been a snowfall of 4 inches or more the City of Quesnel will remove the windrow of snow left in all driveway entrances by the snow plows. This snow is removed with a separate piece of equipment which follows the plows through the route. It usually takes 10 to 30 minutes before the windrow is removed from the end of a driveway so please be patient.
Public assistance

Expect delays after a snowfall and allow extra travel time.

Do your part to ensure safe road travel, i.e. use quality snow tires, reduce your speed and only travel if necessary during and after major snowfalls, thus giving our operators more time
and room to complete operations.

When approaching snow equipment give them plenty of room to operate.

Please do not attempt to flag down our operators to explain a point or request a favour, this only slows down our snow removal process. If you have any questions or suggestions, please call the Public Works Department.

Please do not shovel snow from your driveway or the windrow in your driveway out into the street. This could cause a safety liability problem should a vehicle hit this accumulation of snow and lose control.

It would greatly assist us in residential areas if after a snowfall, you would park your vehicles in your driveway so that when the snow plow does your street it can do a neat and thorough job.