Hole-y cow! Enter my pothole repair contest

February 26, 2013

City of Edmonton Transportation officials admit this year is shaping up to be a bad one for potholes.

I’m getting scads of comments from Edmontonians concerned about the hole-y terrors of the roads.

Some folks complain they’ve damaged vehicles hitting the holes or worry they might.

So let’s work together to get as many potholes filled as possible and have some fun with my contest meant to help fix a big problem.

By entering, you could win a gift certificate for $500 toward the purchase of some brand new tires, courtesy of Stewart’s Tire, 8405 Wagner Rd., in Edmonton.

Here’s how to enter.

If you see a pothole(s) on a City of Edmonton street that need filling, detail the exact location(s) of them, then email me at, kerry.diotte@edmonton.ca  I will pass these locations along to Transportation officials.

Feel free to attach photos or videos of the potholes too! When you photograph them, do it safely and don’t get hurt by passing vehicles!

Headline your email to me: “Pothole(s) to be Fixed Contest”

I will feature some of your emails on my www.kerrydiotte.com website along with some photos or videos you might send along.

Every person who submits legitimate pothole locations gets one chance to be entered into the draw for the $500 gift certificate from Stewart’s Tire in Edmonton.

No matter how many potholes you report, you get one entry per person.

Get your entry in ASAP. Contest closes April 3, 2013 at high noon.

Kerry Diotte is seeking the nomination to be the Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the federal riding of Edmonton-Griesbach. If chosen as the Edmonton-Griesbach candidate for the Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper, Kerry Diotte would run in a fall 2015 federal election against candidates for the Liberal Party of Canada led by Justin Trudeau and the New Democratic Party of Canada led by Thomas Mulcair.


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  • Rudy Kay

    The real problem is that the city is paying for substandard work from a firm not in DEADMONTON.

    What is worse, IS THAT NO CITY BUREAUCRAT IS HELD RESPONSIBLE.

    Those city staff responsible should be IMMEDIATELY FIRED FOR JUST CAUSE.

    Then, use only paving companies who guarantee quality work.

  • http://website Lorna Adams

    How about 98 avenue by Capilano Mall and 90 avenue west of 75 street, no chance of getting a speeding ticket along these 2 stretches of road. I’ve seen cattle trails in better shape than the streets here in town.

  • Jason

    Kerry,
    Why are you wasting your own time – by passing locations to Transportation – and your staff’s time in coordinating this pointless and boring “contest”? The city already has a tool for potholes: http://coewebapps3.edmonton.ca/Pothole/default.aspx/default.aspx You should at least let people know it exists, for when you’re not soliciting feedback about City infrastructure through your personal website.

    • Mary M

      Well said.

  • Jim Eigner, Treasurer, Speak Up Edmonton

    We need to replace the heads of the transportation and planning departments and any other staff that believe that motor vehicles have no place in the city of Edmonton. We are a winter city and yet for the past 20 years, our snow removal has been terrible and the conditions of our roads continue to get worse. Then look at the stupidity of the planning department who do not plan for increased traffic on our roadways while approving new subdivisions around the city. I have lived here in Edmonton for most of my life and have witnessed the stupidity of the city managers who only answer to traffic problems have them putting up more traffic lights which are not timed to move taffic.

  • Ed

    Argyll Road pretty much anywhere along its length, but especially between about 91 St and Calgary Trail. Holes big enough for a Smart Car to fall in… of course, almost any road in the city has potholes, as the city doesn’t seem to be keeping up with them &/or fixing them well enough to last. Each year, the same holes in the same places – doesn’t that tell Council anything?!?!

  • Dave

    Thanks Kerry and Jason. I reported my biggest “pot peeve” to both places. And the road construction contractors really can’t be blamed. The city chisels them down on price so badly that we get substandard roads built. If we want quality roads, the city will have to pay more for them, simple as that

  • http://www.twitter.com/m_bellers Matt Bell

    I was just in Calgary a couple weekends ago and I noticed their roads were IMMACULATE in comparison to ours; barely any potholes. Why is that? We live in very similar climates (I would even argue that Calgary’s climate is likely more extreme than Edmonton’s) yet our roads seem to be miles worse than theirs.

    Does Calgary use a different mixture? What’s the answer?

  • Stephen

    Matt: having lived in Calgary and Edmonton, I suggest the issue is one of geology, not construction. Edmonton is built on sandy soils, Calgary on clay and harder rocks.

    Kerry: I agree with Jason above… this contest is sort of a neat idea, but if the City infrastructure has a system in place for reporting potholes, all you are doing here is promoting your website and the tire shop which feels a bit off, given that you are an elected official charged with supporting the entire community.

  • Councillor Bryan Anderson

    One of the topics currently on the minds of Edmontonians is the proliferation of potholes on city streets. In addition to frustration, there are many suggestions from users of our roads on what to do and how to fix it. I would like to make it very clear to everyone, that all transportation oriented think-tanks and all northern cities across the world, have been researching the most effective way to re-surface roads, increase the longevity of roads and when needed, repair roads.

    There is no space-age technology that has created a surface that can make roads that last forever or can instantly repair damage like potholes. For every suggested break-through there seems to be a negative side-effect. Whisper asphalt made by combining rubber crumb with regular asphalt was successful in reducing the decibel level of road noise. However, in a northern city snow plows seem to damage it much more easily than regular asphalt and when the spaces in the mixture eventually fill with debris, even the decibel reduction is eliminated.
    In northern climates like Edmonton’s, freezing temperatures cause the ground beneath roads to heave and asphalt to crack. As weather warms and the ground thaws, water from melting snow and ice fills the cracks and gets in between the layers in a road’s surface. When temperatures drop again the water in the cracks expands as it freezes and causes asphalt to further deteriorate. Potholes form as vehicles ride over top of damaged areas and loosen the asphalt even more.
    Ultra violet rays from the sun deteriorate the tar component of the asphalt mix, releasing stones that begin the process of pothole creation. Traffic breaks down the edges of the hole, the hole fills with water, freezes and expands, and the hole gets bigger. Unfortunately this is simply a fact of life where the freeze/thaw process can go from -12C on a January Friday to a +12C on Saturday and back to -12C on Sunday.

    A number of years ago we had a winter that created an abnormal number of potholes (595,000 repaired at a cost of $4.5million). It was eventually decided to re-direct Transportation Department funds to grind and repave 35km of major arterial roads. That project was duplicated the following year and there was a significant improvement in citizens’ opinion about the condition of our streets. It is distinctly possible that this is another one of those years (January 2013, 5,624 potholes repaired). It is possible that instead of trying to repair the half a million potholes over the course of this year, we can take the most heavily potholed bus routes and/or arterial roads, grind and resurface them, smoothing some of our potholed plagued major thorough-fares.

    The number of potholes and/or the condition of the surface of our streets has very little to do with what the Transportation Dept. has or hasn’t done. It is simply a condition created by our very changeable winter weather that gives Edmonton a problem that doesn’t exist in many other cities. Vancouver or Phoenix builds a new road and can use it until it wears out. That just isn’t possible here. Edmonton was built on a lake bed; that means that our soil consists of plastic clays and silt, an extremely porous condition that leaves it susceptible to seepage and water retention (and the consequent heaving caused by the freeze/thaws we get in Edmonton).

    Roadway maintenance removes windrows from high traffic arterials and bus routes, reducing the amount of water to freeze and thaw. As weather gets warmer, graders are used to pop the ice from gutter and in front of catch basins to help drain roadways. It is difficult to do this during a quick thaw in January as night time temperatures quickly freeze it over again.
    Although Roadway Maintenance eventually seeks out and fixes 97 percent of the potholes on Edmonton streets, we ask that citizens assist us by reporting potholes and identifying areas of particular concern. Citizens can visit our webpage (www.edmonton.ca/potholes) and submit a pothole report.

    • Kerry Diotte

      Thanks for wading into this issue Bryan.

      I believe most people find that, once the potholes are reported, City crews are pretty quick to fill them.

      So, let’s get as many reported as possible!

  • Darryl Hay

    There are hectares of Edmonton streets and sidewalks under water (27Feb-02Mar2012). That water is penetrating the cracks and “potholes” in concrete and pavement and saturating the silt down to the clay. That water is standing because drains are plugged with street litter and windrows of ice, or because streets and sidewalks were under-designed, or under-constructed and under-inspected with insufficient drainage. This water causes far more damage, in the form of potholes and more cracks and drainage impairment, than any amount of snow in the winter ever could. Yet all of the Transportation Department and Drainage crews have disappeared until summer. Very costly misallocation of resources.

  • cmills10

    The problem with this approach is Diotte is asking people to report potholes on his contest, which will not inform roadway maintenance about the problem so they can fix it. What are the chances that people are entering the contest and reporting them to the city so they can work on them? Here is the Report a pothole form just in case you actually want to find a solution to the problem. http://coewebapps3.edmonton.ca/Pothole/default.aspx/default.aspx

    • http://kerrydiotte.wordpress.com kerrydiotte

      We WILL indeed inform roadways of all potholes people report through this contest.

      In tweets and on Facebook I’ve also urged people to call 311 on the potholes.

      Transportation is happy to hear about potholes in all manners. Indeed, at my suggestion, they will be urging all City of Edmonton employees to report these road hazards.

      And, yes, folks may also use that report-a-pothole form too.

    • robertlovespi

      Somebody didn’t read the full post… “I will pass these locations along to Transportation Officials.”

  • Elysia Johnson

    Kerry,
    I’m commenting to tell you about something akin to a pot hole on my city sidewalk. On our block, we have an asphalt sidewalk and a nearby street scape which has sunk creating huge moats of water in front of our homes. Happy to send you some photos.

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  • http://trafficticketagent.com/ Traffic Ticket Agent

    This is a great little competition. Very fun.

  • http://kerrydiotte.wordpress.com kerrydiotte

    You’re correct, the City does have various tools for folks to report potholes. This contest simply adds another tool to the toolbox.

    I doubt there are many citizens out there who would object to any measure being employed that might help solve our springtime pothole problem.

  • Jason L

    Thank you for replying, Kerry, but I can’t help but feel you missed my point.

    This isn’t ‘another tool’ in ‘the toolbox.’ You are a city councillor tasked with representing citizens’ needs and interests, especially those within your ward. Instead, you are needlessly inserting yourself between City staff and citizens, citywide and using a personal platform, when a perfectly suitable pothole ‘tool’ already exists – one that you do not tell people about. For someone who pays lip service to ‘efficiency’ at every turn, I fail to see why you’d think it worthwhile to use your and your staff’s time in this way (except as a way to garner attention for yourself). Roads are bad, yes. But there are reasons for this, as Councillor Anderson has posted below. You’re not the only Councillor concerned about this issue. You attaching your face to a pothole contest does not change that.

  • http://kerrydiotte.wordpress.com kerrydiotte

    I’d be glad to discuss this further with you if you’d like. Give me your best phone number and we can chat if you’d like.

    Bottom line: We all want a better city and one that has better streets. Feel free to e-mail me your number at: Kerry.Diotte@edmonton.ca

    Cheers!

  • http://kerrydiotte.wordpress.com kerrydiotte

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on this issue, Jason.

    But I thank you for wading into the conversation.