Meltdown mess keeps crews busy

Red Deer City Public Works crews were busy dealing with the usual problems of spring melting conditions around the city on Wednesday.

Red Deer City Public Works crews were busy dealing with the usual problems of spring melting conditions around the city on Wednesday.

One crew cleared frozen ice and snow obstructing primary neighbourhood catch basins and manholes.

Another crew continued to repair the numerous potholes dispersed throughout the city and a third crew dealt with flooding in the Queens Business Park on Queens Drive and 79th Street.

Public Works equipment operator Ursula Patterson said that the flooding was significant enough that crews barricaded off the road on Tuesday evening and addressed the issue early Wednesday morning.

Public Works used pump and boiler equipment and had the issue resolved by early afternoon.

“It was not causing damage, it is a new, undeveloped area in Queens but there was some ponding so we’re cleaning out the catch basins to get the water to drain,” Public Works roads superintendent Jim Chase said.

While the spring melt has not been as significant as the city anticipated, crews are still trying to keep up, notably with potholes, which are caused when moisture enters a crack in the pavement and freezes.

“We are all over the city with our pothole crews and we typically look at the ones that come in as complaints and we target those first,” Chase said.

Freeze and thaw cycles make it much worse for potholes at this time last year.

Some potholes in Red Deer will need temporary patching until roads are free of snow and water so permanent patching can be done.

Chase is also reminding pedestrians to be careful on sidewalks as there the city cannot keep up with sanding.

“There is a lot of packed snow and then it melts during the day and freezes at night, so just be careful on sidewalks,” he said.

Contact Public Works at 403-342-8238 if there are plugged storm drains or water-pooling in your neighbourhood.

Residents are also encouraged to help the city crews locate potholes by reporting them to the department.

For more information on road repairs or spring melting, visit www.reddeer.ca.

jjones@bprda.wpengine.com