Lethbridge crews keeping busy with road work, repairs after chilly winter
The sun is shining, flowers are starting to bloom and there’s construction in the air.
With the cold days of winter in the rear view mirror, drivers now have a new concern — road work.
City crews are starting to see where they will be needed following weeks of temperatures at or below -20 C.
“Frost is going in deep into the ground with those cold temperatures. Now it’s coming out middle of April, and we’ll know by the middle to the end of April how bad it is,” said City of Lethbridge Transportation Manager Darwin Juell.
WATCH: Freezing temperatures add pressure to Lethbridge infrastructure (Feb. 12)
He added long, colder winters tend to have more of an impact on city infrastructure and roads.
“It can be 10 to 12 feet deep in some places. So the surface just below the asphalt, below the gravel into the subgrade is extremely weak. So when you get a big truck or a bus or something on that, you can have a pavement failure,” Juell said.
He said the city breaks down its $2.4-million road operation budget into a number of categories.
About $500,000 is set aside for potholes and anywhere from $400,000 to $800,000 is allocated for major road repairs.
Drivers are seeing a number of orange cones and signs blooming on Lethbridge roadways, with watermain repairs and other construction taking place throughout the city.
“It’s almost like the middle of construction season. I took 5th Avenue North to come here, unfortunately, and I was detoured three times because of the watermain breaks and there’s other repairs going on,” Juell said.
There are about a dozen major road projects crews still have to get to.
Juell added the major road repair team is only able to tackle one project at a time and more could spring up in the coming weeks.
The city is planning to have all of its cold weather-related road repairs completed by mid-May.
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