It’s a common complaint in the spring in Edmonton — the state of the city’s roads. With warmer weather melting months of accumulated ice and snow, the potholes are once again rearing their suspension-ruining pits.
The city says it’s on top of it, with 10 asphalt trucks and multiple crews working around the clock, seven days a week.
“A pothole is any void that’s in the surface of the road,” said Caitlin Zerebeski, the city’s general supervisor of mobility network maintenance.
“When water has gotten into the cracks in the wintertime, the freeze thaw cycle occurs, which creates a void in the road surface. When cars drive over it, you get small and then larger potholes from there.”
Filling potholes is a year-round task in Edmonton, but springtime is the busiest for crews. So far in 2020, 5,700 potholes have been repaired.
Zerebeski said that number is similar to what crews saw in 2018 and 2019.
“Potholes – it’s a fact of life living in Edmonton,” Edmontonian Gabe Potter said.
“They’re very deep, and there’s way too many of them,” Dino LeBlanc said, as he walked down Jasper Avenue.
The city said it sends crew out to problem potholes identified by drivers.
“Citizens of Edmonton are our eyes and ears on the road, so calling 311 or using the 311 app is the preferred way of letting us know when there are potholes,” Zerebeski said.
So what happens after a pothole is reported?
“We send an inspector out to look at the notification when we receive it. Then the inspector assesses it for size, safety, proximity, where it’s located and then it’s prioritized for repair from there,” she said.
Then crews get a list of potholes that need fixing.
“They have to clean it out, get any debris, water. Once the pothole is dry, they will apply a tack to it, put hot ash in, then apply a roller or tamper to make it smooth. Then they seal the outsides of the pothole.”
The city is urging drivers to slow down around crews, and give them space to work.