Report a pothole (aka. pot hole, pot-hole), flooding and storm drain concerns through our online portal, AccessGP
Spring is the time in our City when potholes can rear their irritating heads. They no doubt create driving challenges, and are generally an irritant and an eyesore. We want to share what we know about these vexatious potholes and how we address them.
What You Need to Know About Potholes
Potholes can occur in a number of ways at this time of year - all of them have to do with melt water during the spring thaw and cracks in the road surface.
Water seeps through cracks in the road surface and softens the sub-base under the pavement (this weakens the sub-base; it can no longer support the pavement above it or the traffic loads placed on it).
Thaw water seeps into cracks in the pavement or sub-base. Temperatures drop and water freezes. (This is the main cause of potholes in our climate). We refer to this a freeze/thaw cycles. These freeze/thaw cycles occur repeatedly during the spring season and, in the last few years, over the winter season as well. The freezing causes the sub-base to expand, which can cause localized pavement failure (a pothole).
Water in surface cracks, or in between concrete and bituminous (asphalt) overlays can freeze causing pieces of pavement to "pop" out.
Winter potholes present a particular issue for transportation crews as the fix can only be temporary during this season. We use a Cold-Mix Patch, an asphalt product designed to remain workable during cold weather. The cold-mix patch is largely considered a temporary repair; due to the weather in our colder months, this application cannot achieve a good bond between pavement and patch. Water can still find its way under the patch, which may create the same cycle of pothole development. More permanent repair materials are able to be used during the summer months.
Report Pesky Potholes
Call the Citizen Contact Center at 780-538-0300 and our team will work with you to create a call to action
Know the location; even the side of the road is helpful to know
The size of the pothole is important. Potholes described to customer service representatives as very large, deep or threatening to traffic are sent for immediate attention.
Target response time is approximately 24 hours from the time a pothole is reported. Pothole reports are entered into a ticketing system and placed on a pothole list distributed to crews for repair.
Did you know that potholes are prioritized based on the category of street?
- Priority one (major arterial roads) are attended to first
- Priority two, bus routes/collector streets are addressed second
- Residential streets are placed next on the list
The annual spring clean-up procedure starts as soon as most of the snow is gone and temperatures moderate.
How do we sweep?
The first locations to dry are on top of the concrete boulevards. These are cleaned using tractor mounted sweepers, hand operated motorized sweepers, brooms and shovels.
The boulevards are then washed down with pressurized water from our water trucks. In the early part of the season, potable water is used for flushing but surface water sources are used when they thaw. (132 Ave west of 116 St and corner of 68 Ave and 84 St).
The City has 4 Street Sweepers and their operation is weather dependent. Cold temps (less than 0°C) and rain or wet surfaces will delay the operations.
Sweeping continues on 3 eight hour shifts weekdays. They are all tracked by GPS so the program can be managed.
We also use a large conveyor type machine (Broce Broom) that picks up larger amounts of debris that the regular street sweepers are not designed to pick up. This unit loads the debris directly into a truck and then hauled to disposal sites.
Sweeping debris picked up from the street sweeping and the Broce broom operation are stockpiled at several locations throughout the City and eventually ends up at the Aquatera Landfill. Aquatera uses it for cover material and is accepted free of tipping fees.
Where do we sweep?
The sweepers start on the main roads, priority 1, much the same way as the snow removal program. This can take up to a month depending on weather and amounts of material on the road from winter operations.
The sweepers then proceed to priority 2 and priority 3 roads and residential areas. This program follows the same rotation in neighbourhoods as the Residential Snow Clearing Program.
When one complete rotation of the City is complete, the sweepers will move back to priority 1 routes and continue through the City. Some roads require regular sweeping; for example, Wapiti Road and around rail road tracks.
Asphalt Trails are swept by Transportation Crews. Muskoseepi Trails are swept by Parks Crews. This starts as soon as conditions allow.
Grass Medians are swept by Transportation Crews to clean debris left over from winter operations. This is done with pan broom sweepers on bobcats and starts as soon as the grassed medians dry. This is concentrated on main roads; especially intersections.
Residential Street Sweeping
Citizens may report areas in need of sweeping by phoning the Citizen Contact Centre at 780-538-0300. If you see street sweepers in your area, please keep vehicles off the road so equipment can do a thorough job.
How Can You Help?
When sweepers are in your area, you may assist the clean-up process and help crews do a thorough job by keeping your vehicles off the road.
Gravel roads in our city cause issues with dust. Gravel dust can cause driving hazards, breathing issues and can be a general nuisance. To suppress this dust we use a Calcium Chloride Product sprayed over the gravel surface.
We provide two types of dust suppression services
Gravel roads in the city receive the Calcium Chloride treatment throughout the spring/summer season on an as needed basis.
Residents in our rural service areas can apply to receive dust control treatments to sections of road near their properties for a fee by filling out the Dust Suppression Application.
Scheduling of these treatments are subject to regular dust suppression program priorities and in combination with other requests to maintain cost effectiveness.
Residents must apply for a minimum of 100m length of road way. The width of the treatment will be 7 metres (23 feet). Application fee is $440.00 / 100 metre length of road.
The City of Grande Prairie does not guarantee the effectiveness of the dust control agent. Once treatment is applied no refunds of the application fee will be made.