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Too early for pothole prediction, city says

Cringe-worthy craters a creation of freeze/thaw cycles

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 06:00 am

TRIPLE THREAT – The city has a crew fixing potholes on area streets but it's too soon to tell whether a bad season is ahead, says public works director Dan Rites.
TRIPLE THREAT – The city has a crew fixing potholes on area streets but it's too soon to tell whether a bad season is ahead, says public works director Dan Rites.
CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette

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Spotted a problem?

Potholes can be reported to the city online at www.stalbert.ca/pothole or by calling 780-418-6066.

The public works department can’t be sure yet how bumpy the roads will be for motorists this spring.

As the temperatures start trending up, so too will the number of potholes – but it’s too early to tell how afflicted St. Albert’s streets might be with the irritating craters.

“It’s really impossible to tell right now what kind of year it’s going to be,” said Dan Rites, director of public works.

Last year, by mid-April city crews had filled about 8,000 potholes.

Pothole development tends to depend on the weather. If the city gets hit with repeated freeze/thaw cycles the way it did last year, it could mean more potholes.

“The biggest wild card is the weather and we’ll have to see what Mother Nature brings,” said Rites.

The city has resurfaced a number of streets in recent years, which could help mitigate some potential problems, he said.

“From the City of St. Albert’s perspective, we’ve been very aggressive with our overlay programs. So … we would benefit from having newer roads, very recently overlaid roads,” Rites said. “Typically you don’t get as many potholes in a new road versus a road that’s reaching the end of its life cycle.”

While it’s not prime pothole season yet, a crew has been working on the ones that have already popped up.

Rites said the weather has to be OK for the potholes to be filled. It can’t be too cold, snowy or wet when doing the work.


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