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Calgary unanimously approves more funding to combat potholes

The city has pledged an additional $8.9 million to help in the immediate fight against Calgary's pothole problem. The city has pledged an additional $8.9 million to help in the immediate fight against Calgary's pothole problem.

The City of Calgary is more than doubling its budget this year to help tackle the city's pothole problem.

After a "favourable snow and ice control season" for the city of Calgary, officials said there was about $8.9 million available in the winter maintenance reserve fund.

Upon hearing about the available funding, Ward 14 Coun. Peter Demong suggested the money could be used right now.

"Considering the condition of the roads and the season we've had in consideration to the freeze and thaw cycle," Demong said, "If that $8.9 million were made available, would you be able to put it to action, put it to work this year?"

Following a discussion over the amendment to Calgary's winter maintenance policy update at Tuesday's meeting, council unanimously approved Demong's motion.

Officials said the money would be used to improve surface conditions and address some of the high-priority areas in Calgary.

Over the past few weeks, crews have been hard at work in many different areas of Calgary to repair potholes in roads.

Administration said Tuesday that crews have filled more potholes than ever before.

"There were many freeze-thaw cycles that really affected the quality of our roads," administration said. "We're getting lots of feedback from customers and council that we need to take action quickly."

According to Calgary's roads department, the Canada's average pavement quality index, a measure that rates the quality of infrastructure, is about 63 while Calgary's sits at 38.

Last year, the city of Calgary filled approximately 33,500 potholes. So far in 2024, crews have filled about 8,800 potholes.

In comparison, the city has already filled about 2,000 more potholes than up to this point in 2023.

"The roads have gotten pretty ugly and it behooves us to do our best to try to alleviate the situation," Demong said.

Ward 12 Coun. Evan Spencer seconded Demong's motion for the amendment.

"I think this is well-put," he told council. "This is a big priority for Calgarians right now."

Spencer said extra funds right now would end up saving the city money in the long run.

"If anything, I would be hoping for more."

Administration said they would be able to use all of the allocated funds this year and they would be spent on the "immediate needs" of Calgarians.

"This investment will allow us to take care of immediate issues of street repair beyond our $6.9 million budget," officials said.

"We would expect to do surface overlay as part of this investment on key corridors."

Despite the surprise injection of funds, the city's road department said much more would be needed to ensure Calgary's roads are kept in good shape.

"At around $90 million, we would see an improvement in our pavement quality index, but to keep it static, around $50 million would be needed to keep it at our current level."

The city says it is responsible for more than $10 billion worth of roads and by investing highly in maintenance, the lifespan of those roads could be easily extended.

The roads department said it will return to council in November with its recommendations on a budget that could improve the overall quality of Calgary's roads and bring it closer to the Canadian average. Top Stories

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