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Snow melt marks start of Calgary’s pothole repair season
Published Tuesday, March 13, 2018 12:31PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 13, 2018 6:26PM MDT
The piles of snow stacked up on streets in communities across the city are melting and drivers are now dealing with all the potholes that are starting to appear.
There is about 16,000 kilometres of paved road in the city and the city’s road maintenance crews get started on pothole repairs in April and continue the work through the summer months.
Snow melts into the cracks in the pavement and then expands when it freezes and that produces the potholes.
Major roadways are inspected twice a month and feeder routes are examined once a month but crews have to wait until roads are dry to make lasting repairs.
In the meantime, drivers are having to dodge the divots in the road and auto service experts say potholes can cause significant damage and cost thousands in repairs.
“We’re dealing with a lot of phone calls right now about actual noises in vehicles, like whether it’s clunking or just whining noises while people are driving, just getting louder and louder as people are driving. A lot of it is from hitting potholes, whether it’s damaging suspension components or wheel bearings or even bending rims and causing vibrations, so we’re dealing with that a lot lately, having to replace a lot of parts,” said Ryan Rankine, Owner and Manager of South Pro Automotive. “You hit one big pothole, it could potentially be $1000 to $2000 in damage.”
Rankine says they get between four and ten calls a day that are related to ruts and potholes.
“The snow and ice and the frost heaves and everything are causing a lot of damage to the roads, which is in turn damaging vehicles,” he said. “I’ve got an employee that had to bring his car down here last night because he’d hit a rut in his back alley and damaged his oil pan.”
“I’ve been having such problems because of the ruts in the alley and in the front driveway and all down the street too. They’re up so high to the point where all the cars on my street are bottoming out and I actually ripped out one of my oil lines on my car and damaged it,” said Josh Sponton. “The potholes are absolutely treacherous.”
The city has received a significant amount of snow this winter, which has taken its toll on area roads, and city crews are already working to fill in trouble spots.
For more information on the city’s pothole repair plan and to report a problem, click HERE.