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Better driving experience: Calgary launches live pothole portal

Calgarians can now save their shock, and shocks, by finding one of the city’s post-winter-thaw potholes.

The city’s Roads Department launched a live pothole portal at the end of August that allows viewers to see where potholes are located.

It showed where they have been submitted from 311, when they were inspected by the city and when they were repaired by road crews.

“At the city, specifically in the roads department, we’re always looking for ways to be more transparent about the programs that we do,” said Calgary roads spokesperson Chris McGeachy.

He said that the city is trying to leverage technology to help people understand the Roads department. This included programs like pothole repairs, road resurfacing and road quality monitoring.

Up to early September of this year, there have been 2,843 service requests via 311 for potholes.

The city repaired 11,800 potholes in the same time frame in 2021.

The City of Calgary’s citizen dashboard showed a comparable amount repaired in 2017 with 10,189.

Potholes are a perennial problem for a winter city

Potholes are formed when moisture penetrates the surface of a road and then freezes in winter. Vehicles that drove over those pockets of ice cause damage to the road.

This damage forms into a pothole come springtime after the ice has melted.

McGeachy said that city crews typically work on fixing potholes from April through October.

“Potholes are one of those things that we can absolutely do work on in the winter,” he said.

Once potholes have been identified they are given a priority score based on the volume of traffic on the road. Those scores have been made available on the live pothole map.

McGeachy said they try and prioritize repairs overnight on high traffic areas in an attempt to minimize traffic disruptions.

The live pothole map can be found at maps.calgary.ca/potholes.