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City of Edmonton seeing 3 times more pothole complaints than last year

Click to play video: 'Is this the worst year ever for potholes in Edmonton?'
Is this the worst year ever for potholes in Edmonton?
WATCH ABOVE: After a winter of non-stop freeze-thaw cycles, will Edmonton have one of the worst pothole seasons on record? As Lisa MacGregor explains, the city is already seeing three times more complaints than this time last year. – Mar 7, 2022

Edmonton roads are paying the price for the wild weather in Alberta’s capital this past year. The city is already seeing three time more complaints about potholes this year than it did at the same time last year.

So far in 2022, the city has received 1,779 pothole notifications. At this point in 2021, there were 526 notifications.

Eduardo Sosa, the City of Edmonton’s director of infrastructure maintenance, parks and roads services, said “the difference is driven by the weather pattern differences between 2021 and 2022.”

“During those freeze-thaw cycles, water enters into the surface of the asphalt. Then when it freezes, it expands,” he said. “This creates small voids in the road that over time open up to what we see as potholes.”

For 2022, Edmonton has a budget of $10.3 million for asphalt road maintenance. It was approximately the same in 2021, when over 740,000 pothole repairs were completed.

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READ MORE: Edmonton road crews ‘very proactive with potholes’ so far in 2021

Desmond Ross from Fix Auto Downtown said he is seeing customers with vehicle damage in the thousands on a regular basis lately, in many cases because of potholes.

He said drivers are so angry about the vehicle damage caused by road issues, that many are reaching out to hold the city accountable for their bill.

“They will say how they ran into a windrow or they hit a pothole, and it can range anywhere from say a broken wheel to a damaged wheel and tire to the fender lip to underneath and some splash pans… we’ve seen damages for $10,000,” Ross said.

The City of Edmonton’s Andrew Grant said there are crews working year-round to stay on top of fixing potholes found on major arterials and bus routes.

‘I don’t know if it’s going to be a worse (year) for potholes — I hope not,” he said. “But if it is, we do have the ability to run more trucks and put additional crews out there.”

Lacey Watson with Mid-City Construction said regardless of the weather and climate, Edmonton is already a city that deals with adversity when it comes to road work.

“Edmonton is probably one of the hardest cities in the world for building roads,” Watson said. “We’re built on an old glacial lake, so our ground here is made of poor clay to build roads on.”

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The ongoing freeze-thaw cycles are not helping Edmonton’s case for a smoother ride into spring.

“Water gets into the crack and then when it freezes, it pops out your asphalt,” Watson said.

Drivers can submit vehicle damage claims related to potholes to the city. Officials did not confirm to Global News how many people have submitted claims this year or if any have been paid out.

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