Pothole repairs affected by weather, not water main

Jason Kerr
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Despite water main problems, city officials say they won’t be too busy to start road repairs when the weather gets warmer.

The city is at least two weeks away from starting street repairs according to the city’s director of public works. 

Recent cold temperatures and more snow have pushed back road repairs for a few more weeks.

“We’re still dealing with some snow and ice issues, so we really haven’t been focused in on doing the potholes or that with any real earnest yet,” public works director Colin Innes says.

Innes says the city brought in some of their summer work crews early to help out with the water repairs.  He estimates they’re at least two weeks away from starting work on roads, meaning they shouldn’t be overworked.

“We’ve been able to shift (workers) without it really having an impact on things, but I’d imagine that as soon as we get the warmer temperatures here this weekend all the snow’s going to basically disappear in short order that we’re going to have to get going on that,” he says.  “So far I don’t think that it’s had an impact.”

Total street and road repairs are budgeted to cost $1,015,250 this year, with a little more than a quarter of that covered by grants and fees.  That amount covers street inspection, pothole repairs, repairs to dips, frost boils and cracks, as well as surface work such as grading, graveling, oiling and road patching.

Typically, city crews need the roads to be completely dry before they start work in order to permanently fix the problem.  They can treat the potholes to keep them from going larger, but the hot mix used to permanently fill the hole needs to be applied in dry conditions.

Unfortunately, the Prince Albert residents are going to have to wait a little bit longer.

“Whenever the weather finally does the shift for us is when we’ll start to do it,” Innes says.  “If it was warmer we’d probably be getting into it earlier.”

Streets in Prince Albert are given a priority list for pothole repair, just like for snow removal.  Major roads leading to highways and emergency routes are top priority, followed by city bus routes and school zones.

Innes says they plan on working as fast as they can, just as soon as the weather starts to co-operate.

“It’s snowing again,” he says with a laugh.  “We’re hoping winter will end this year.”

Organizations: Prince Albert

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