Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-Pot Holes - for story- This hole in the pavement on 45 street west of Taylor Drive is just one of what could be hundreds of wheel rattling potholes that are appearing on city streets this winter.

Pothole cost appears low

Motorists may complain about the pothole-plagued streets but few are seeking compensation from the City of Red Deer.

Motorists may complain about the pothole-plagued streets but few are seeking compensation from the City of Red Deer.

Between 2011 and 2013, the city paid out a total of $2,500 for five out of 42 insurance claims filed for vehicles damaged by potholes.

Public Works manager Greg Sikora said the city does not receive many claims from residents who say their vehicles were damaged on the roads. The claims are typically paid out through the city but there are circumstances when they go through insurance.

To file a claim, residents must go through the city’s risk management and insurance analyst.

All claims are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

In 2012, roughly 10,000 potholes were patched. On any given year, the city fills between 8,000 and 13,000 holes. City crews work on a 48-hour standard to have the reported pothole filled.

“We encourage residents to pay close attention to the roads and avoid hitting the potholes,” said Sikora. “We recognize there are potholes out there. We encourage people to contact Public Works to report potholes.”

Sikora said the constant cold temperatures may actually curb the number of potholes this year because everything stays frozen. Potholes are created during the freeze-thaw cycles and when water soaks into the road through the cracks, softening the gravel below the asphalt.

Crews are already at work filling the potholes.

Sikora said the city may hire more contractors to help with pothole repair because the majority of Public Work crews are busy finishing up the snow plowing campaign. As of Tuesday, plowing crews were on residential streets in the Michener area and were expected to enter Woodlea and Waskasoo neighbourhoods on Wednesday.

To report a pothole, go to the city’s website ( and click on Report a Problem, or call Public Works at 403-342-8238.

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