City tackling potholes early in 2014

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"The City of Edmonton is taking an aggressive approach to dealing with potholes that are emerging on Edmonton roads as a result of numerous freeze/thaw cycles this winter.

“We filled almost 6,000 potholes in January and expect that, should weather trends continue, we’ll be dealing with conditions similar to what we experienced in 2013,” said Roadway Maintenance Director Bob Dunford. “Had City Council not invested an additional $21 million on road triage work last year the situation might have been much worse.”

“Potholes are the symptom of a much more serious problem, and my council colleagues and I are committed to aggressively addressing the transportation infrastructure deficit that currently exists on Edmonton roads,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “In addition to the $31 million being invested this year on the repair and rehabilitation of arterial roads, we are working closely with administration to set up a long-term, sustainable funding program to ensure improved roads over the next few years.”

In northern climates such as Edmonton’s, dramatic drops in temperature cause the ground beneath roads to heave and the asphalt to crack. When temperatures rise and snow melts the water fills the cracks in a road’s surface; when temperatures drop again the water expands as it freezes, further breaking down the asphalt. Potholes are formed as vehicles ride over top of the damaged areas and further loosen material. 

“Crews in each district search out and repair potholes, but we also appreciate the assistance of citizens in helping to identify problem areas,” added Dunford. “Edmontonians can call 311 or go online to edmonton.ca/potholes to report locations that are causing issues for motorists, and we will address them on a priority basis, with severe potholes in high traffic areas receiving attention from crews first.”

In 2013, Transportation Services spent $7 million and applied almost 15,000 tonnes of material on 750,000 potholes throughout the city, enough to pave seven kilometres of a four-lane roadway. In 2014, the budget for pothole repairs is $5.9 million."