What is the worst road to drive on in Alberta?
That’s the question the Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association aims to answer with a new social media campaign.
The association is asking motorists to safely post pictures of “painful potholes and ruined roadways” they experience as they drive around the province. The association said the goal is to point out the need for better infrastructure maintenance and management.
“We want to hear from people. Show us the most punishing pothole that makes you pay for not dodging it,” ARHCA CEO Ron Glen said in a media release.
“We want to see the deepest ruts that inspire the most colourful language.”
“Tell us where is the darkest roadside black hole that strikes fear into the heart of any driver.”
When safe to do so, drivers are asked to snap a pic and post it to social media with the hashtag #AlbertaFixOurRoads. Drivers should include a few words about why they believe that specific spot is Alberta’s worst road.
“Alberta’s transportation network is vital to our economy, growth and jobs. This reminds municipalities and the provincial government how important it is to keep roads in good shape,” Glen said.
Alberta has a distracted driving law in place that prohibits the use of handheld cellphones or mobile devices behind the wheel, even when stopped at a red light.
The penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is a $300 fine and three demerit points.
According to the Alberta government’s 2019-2020 annual transportation report, $4.4 billion was invested in the highway network across the province. This included $1.9 billion spent on the Calgary and Edmonton ring roads, and more than $1.5 billion to rehabilitate Alberta’s highways and bridges.
The same report stated that in 2019-2020, about 15 per cent of Alberta’s provincial highway surfaces were in “poor” condition, meaning upgrading is required to comply with minimum codes or standards and deterioration has reached the point where major repairs or replacements are necessary.
About 26 per cent of Alberta’s highways were in “fair” condition, meaning aging components are nearing the end of their lifecycle and require additional expenditures for renewal or refurbishing.
About 59 per cent of highways are listed in “good” condition, meaning they are adequate for the intended use and expected to provide continued service life with average maintenance.
“You need to spend a certain amount to keep the highways in good condition,” Glen said Saturday.
“When highways get to a certain point you can’t just repair the top, the surface — you have to reconstruct them because the base layers have been degraded.”
The ARHCA asks Albertans to only share pictures of provincial roadways, not parking lots or sidewalks.
The “winning” road will selected in June.