Unseasonable melt reveals potholes, bad year forecast for rough roads
Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013 6:25PM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 16, 2013 6:30PM MST
It’s a problem on roads in the capital region that motorists don’t usually have to deal with until spring – but with unseasonably warm temperatures, the snow and ice is melting, uncovering asphalt marked with potholes which city crews are scrambling to fill.
Large potholes have been revealed on streets throughout Edmonton.
“We’ve identified quite a number of them, and we’re out there working on them,” Bob Dunford, Manager of Roadway Maintenance with the City of Edmonton said.
These days, crews that would normally be clearing snow from city streets, are now working to fill the growing number of potholes noticed by city crews and by Edmontonians.
The city has planned to have workers on the streets at all hours to make the drive smoother.
“We’re actually going to have some crews out starting at 3 in the morning, just to try and catch some of those potholes on high speed roadways between 3 and 7,” Dunford said.
For motorists, it’s not often the easiest task to avoid a pothole, but a tire expert said drivers should at the very least slow down when approaching and driving over a pothole, to avoid an expensive repair.
“The most common is bent wheels or blown-out tires,” Brandon Hill with Kal-Tire said. “You can do damage to your suspension on your vehicle, your front end.”
Potholes have been credited with a number of drivers taking their damaged vehicles to a number of city auto shops, including the location on Yellowhead Trail and 147 Street, where Hill works.
Hill said vehicles with tires that have a low profile, or ones made for special rims are at a higher risk for damage, because they don’t have much of a sidewall.
“That’s going to help absorb a lot of the shock too, and the impact,” Hill said. “The smaller the profile, the more susceptible it is to bent wheels, and blowing out tires.”
Last year, the city said crews filled nearly half a million potholes – Bob Dunford said they will probably see many more this year, based on the number of freeze and thaw cycles, and the existing conditions of several roads.
Dunford expects this spring to be one of the worst seasons for potholes in Edmonton in years.
“I think it’s going to be a tough pothole season this spring,” Dunford said. “That’s just my forecast, based upon past experience.”
With files from Amanda Anderson