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Kicking asphalt: Calgary potholes crews fill nearly 30% more ruts this spring

Lighter traffic and a changed schedule have allowed Calgary roads crews to get the upper hand in the battle against city potholes.

With the coronavirus keeping people at home during the week and some roads in the city being almost barren, the city saw an opportunity.

“What we have done is shifted the pothole repair teams from working during the weekends to during the week,” said Chris McGeachy, with the City of Calgary roads department

“They will be working in concert with our spring cleanup program.” 

McGeachy said because of the change the department has received 2,836 pothole service requests and a 28 percent increase in pothole fillings from the beginning of January to the end of April this year.

The change is paying off. McGeachy said that compared with last year, they’ve filled nearly 1,400 more potholes. 

Last year, to the end of April, the city filled 4,769 potholes. This year, they’ve already filled 6,103.

Not all potholes are made equal. The roads department has a strategy in place to address more significant potholes around the city. 

“We do try to prioritize filling our potholes on high traffic roads first,” said McGeachy. 

“A lot of the work that is done on major roadways is done at night so those potholes will be filled on the night shift.”

Got a pothole Calgary? Call 311 or use the app

When asked about potential city construction delays at the May 5 City of Calgary coronavirus briefing, Mayor Naheed Nenshi took the opportunity to talk about potholes.

He said, if you have one, call 311. They’ll get on it.

“Our ability to control the road conditions in Calgary is very good over most Canadian cities. You do see potholes obviously in the spring as you would anywhere else,” said Nenshi.

“Now that the weather is nicer and the traffic is a little lighter. We are trying to get ahead of some of those repairs.” 

McGeachy urged Calgarians to report potholes through the City of Calgary 311 app so so they can be addressed faster.