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Ice ruts cause drivers grief

REGINA – The freeze-thaw cycle this spring has made some roads impassable for drivers and there has been no shortage of complaints about the ice ruts.

“It’s pretty awful. It’s a little hard to get down the street without bottoming out,” said Charmaine Painchaud, who lives on Blakeney Drive. “When you hear that clunk you kind of worry. Am I doing permanent damage? Is this going to cost me a lot of money?”

Residential blading down to 10-centimeters was completed in mid-March but crews are still working on problem spots. The city has received about 500 rut-related complaints so far this month.

“A difficult 10 days for some of the people that lived on those streets but we’re hopeful we’re getting near to the end of that line,” said Chris Warren, Regina’s manager of winter maintenance. “The majority of these calls that we’ve gotten have been inspected and work scheduled as necessary.”

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The snow storm in the first week of March is partly to blame as crews were diverted from clearing residential areas.

“Had we not experienced that storm in the middle and the warm temperatures all at once, then I don’t think we would have experienced this,” said Warren.

If a vehicle is damaged by a snow rut, there’s a chance SGI will cover the costs. With a more comprehensive plan, a deductible could be as low as $100 but for people with SGI’s basic plate insurance the deductible is $700.

“Let’s say, you hit a snow rut, it damages your vehicle but the damage is only $500. In that case, because it’s less than your $700 deductible, we wouldn’t actually cover the costs of those repairs,” said Kelley Brinkworth with SGI.

Drivers can try to recoup their costs from the city but chances are slim. The city received 47 claims related to frozen ruts last year and six so far in 2014; however none of them were paid out.

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