City of Red Deer Public Works employees Devon Desrosiers works a tamper over a repaired pothole as Jose Diz looks on. A truck with a supply of preheated asphalt has made the job of repairing potholes better. (Advocate file photo by Jeff Stokoe)

Prevention puts pothole proliferation in Red Deer on ice

Freeze-thaw cycles have taken toll on roads

There are more than a few Red Deer drivers around who remember the city’s Great Pothole War about five years ago.

Large numbers of big, gaping near-caverns in the pavement made for a rough ride on city streets. Today, Public Works manager Greg Sikora recalls those potholes as “terrible.”

Potholes are a hallmark of late winter, early spring driving, thanks largely to the freeze-thaw cycles that occur on a regular basis in Red Deer. This is usually the result of the region catching the warm edges of southern Alberta chinooks. Potholes form when water gets into the road surface and then freezes.

Today, thanks to the city’s different approach to road maintenance, despite having just seen a significant freeze-thaw cycle last month, drivers haven’t had to navigate through near as many potholes as in the past.

“Knock on wood,” said Sikora.

Last month, the city repaired 100 potholes. That’s five to 10 times fewer potholes than several years ago that the city would have seen after a freeze-thaw cycle. In all of 2015, Public Works repaired a total of 17,987 potholes.

Sikora said that the city has undertaken a strong preventative maintenance program on it’s roads. Crack filling. spray patching, pothole repair and more crown paving to prevent water getting into the road surface are all helping.

“We’re seeing now some of the fruits of that investment. Our roads are actually in pretty good shape. We’re seeing less pothole development during these freeze-thaw cycles … That’s the positive because the investment of the preventative road maintenance pays the dividends of less surface distresses.”

“It doesn’t mean that we can take our foot off the gas. It just means we are seeing now less pothole development during those freeze-thaw cycles. It’s truly paying dividends to our community.”

One of the things the city has done the last few years is to use a a special hot box that keeps asphalt warn when doing cold weather repairs rather than just filling them with gravel or cold mix.

When the city gets a call about a pothole, they try to have them repaired within two days, Sikora said.

“We ask the public to use our web page and our Report A Problem feature which gets Public Works connected very quickly.”

barr@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Relatives of murdered family critical of killers’ sentences

Open letter to sentencing judge criticizes ruling allowing killers to apply for parole in 25 years

City rolling out Green Carts

Green Carts used for organics, such as yard waste, food scraps and pet waste

New teaching standards applauded

New code of standards affecting teachers, principals and superintendents to kick in Sept. 1, 2019

UPDATED: Agriculture minister speaks to cattle producers

2018 Alberta Beef Industry Conference underway in Red Deer

Updated: Red Deer gets WHL Bantam Draft and Awards Banquet

WHL will holds its draft and awards ceremony in Red Deer for next three years

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Twenty years later, figure skating’s most famous backflip remains amazing (and illegal)

Figure skating involves spins, jumps, twizzles and a whole host of other… Continue reading

You don’t need to chop like a TV chef to get the job done

Standing in line at the emergency room, makeshift bandage around my finger,… Continue reading

Seychelles swaps debt for groundbreaking marine protection

CURIEUSE ISLAND, Seychelles — With deep blue waters, white sand beaches and… Continue reading

Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures Thursday, including raising… Continue reading

Red Deer blood clinic in need of 600 donors

Aunt encourages Central Albertans to donate blood after losing nephew

Court considers banning diesel cars in German cities

BERLIN — A German court began considering Thursday whether authorities should ban… Continue reading

US women beat Canada in Olympic hockey; Gisin tops Shiffrin

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — A tense shootout, a dazzling deke and… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month