© Justin Crann
Small potholes don't seem like much of a threat, but when they're in a strip they can do a number on a car's suspension.
With municipal roads in poor condition, the city is still working to fix them.
“We know that the roads are still in tough shape and there’s a fair bit of work that has to be done, not only this year but in the long run,” said Mayor Deb Higgins. “We did put a little more money into it in the spring at the budget for this year and the big projects are moving along well. Engineering expects these will be done the end of September.”
Those projects include ongoing arterial and collector street pavement rehabilitation projects. There are 12 streets on the priority list with four completed. She estimated the residential street pavement rehabilitation is about 80 per cent finished with a few more to go.
“They’re all locked in on the schedule,” said Higgins. “At the end of these projects if for some unusual reason there is some more money that’s available they’ll just continue working down their prioritized list.”
She said the biggest impact on the roadwork progress is emergency situations.
“If there is an emergency of some sort or a water main break that means that a city crew will have to be re-designated to work on whatever the emergency is,” said Higgins.
Next week crews are set to pave Caribou Street East from Grey Avenue to Eighth Avenue Northeast, 16th Avenue Southwest from Smith Street to Wellington Street and Albert Street and Brown Street.
In September, some of the streets scheduled for pavement include 10th Avenue Northwest and 11th Avenue Northwest from Stadacona Street to Athabasca Street, Highland Road, High Street West from Fifth Avenue to Sixth Avenue, Coteau Street West at the 12th Avenue intersection and the intersection at Ninth Avenue Northeast.
The Priority 1 arterial streets are done and the focus is on Priority 2 streets, which are bus routes and collector streets, as well as residential streets.
Higgins added there are still two pothole crews working from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“The crew that works in the morning, they will stick to their priority and kind of their scheduled work and the crew that’s in the afternoon, they will deal with emergencies,” she said. “So if residents still have big potholes they need to phone them in to the emergency line because crews won’t be on every street in every area.”
Higgins said for the most part, residents have been “pretty patient” with the roads after a harsh winter with thawing and freezing that damaged the roads. The city was behind by a month in roadwork in the spring and even now potholes previously filled with temporary cold mix need to be refilled with a hot mix.
While council hasn’t seen the results of the citizen survey yet, which cost the city $20,000, she said roads and sidewalks would probably be among the priorities. She estimated council would see the results in the first week of September.
“I can’t wait to see the results,” said Higgins. “It’s going to be interesting to see the bigger picture and what other areas people raise in the citizen survey.”
Another issue is manhole covers with several of them that have failed. At the Aug. 6 council meeting, councillors approved repairing 22 manholes in the city. Out of the 22 manholes she said four or five are finished.
“There is a backlog of approximately 150 excavations where the road has been dug up for either new service lines or water or wastewater repairs,” said Higgins. “While the program for infill housing has been successful, it’s also caused a number of streets to be dug up to connect all the services.”
She added some area corners require “major patching.”
“(There’s) lots of work still to go,” said Higgins. “We all need to hope for a long, warm fall and the work will continue right up until freeze-up.”
Lisa Goudy can be reached at 306-691-1289 or follow her on Twitter @lisagoudy.