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Seasonal Transition Maintenance Update

Post Date:03/18/2021 2:19 PM

As a result of the seasonal transition period (spring snow melt/spring run off), Transportation Services continues to apply all available manpower and equipment to culvert steaming, potholes/patching, street sweeping, gravel road grading and spot repairs and early morning salt/sand ice control as required.

The Crew will continue to work to ensure our roads are kept in safe driving condition and are making every effort to address all areas.

Considerations

The service level maintenance programs during the seasonal transition operations period are subject to impacts from fluctuation in freeze/thaw cycles, weather conditions, forecasts and road drainage/culvert conditions and these often occur simultaneously. The service level is focused on ensuring smooth public traveling conditions and that areas of high consideration, such as emergency routes and schools are given priority. Due to fluctuations, situations may be given priority (such as drainage systems) but be assured that we will address all areas as quickly as possible.

Non - Emergency Roadway Conditions

If you need to advise the County of things such as potholes and frozen culverts and drainage system backups, please visit our SeeClickFix Citizens reporting portal or call the Transportation Service Office during regular work hours at 780-623-6736 or 780-623-6811.

Emergency Conditions

Should you encounter an emergency roadway condition on a County road (ie. emergency vehicles can’t pass, flooding over roads, water backups causing pooling adjacent to pedestrian and school routes, walkways, roadway is impassable, etc.), please call our Transportation Services 24 on-call and after-hours Roadway Condition Emergency Line at (780) 404-4078.

Common Questions:

  1. How do potholes form and why are they the worst in the spring?

    Potholes are holes in the roadway that vary in size and shape. They are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water after the water has entered into the ground under the pavement. When water freezes, it expands. When the ice melts, the pavement contracts and leaves gaps or voids in the surface under the pavement, where water can get in and be trapped. If the water freezes and thaws over and over, the pavement will weaken and continue cracking.

    As the weight of cars and trucks pass over the weak spot in the road, pieces of the roadway material weaken, which will cause the material to be displaced or broken down from the weight, creating the pothole.

  2. How do frost boils form and why are they the worst in the spring?

The frost boils are primarily caused by variants of earth material in the roadway, consisting of weak organic soils that can absorb water. The dirt absorbs water during the summer, then freezes deeper in the road and when it thaws in spring the compaction of the road is lost and is basically mush. The top of the road has a thin layer of gravel and when the frost boils are thawing, traffic pushes the gravel down into the weak soil which squishes out to the surface.

It is therefore necessary to limit the number of passes over the frost boils by motor grader equipment until the boil has thawed and dried enough; otherwise, the heavy equipment can sink suddenly into the soft spots creating an even worse situation.

Repairs are typically completed by digging out the frost boil location and adding new materials. If a section of road has sustained excessive failures throughout its length, a rehabilitation of the entire section may be required. Some are mitigated by using geotextiles, fabric and weeping tile where possible.

If asphalt roads are also cracking, it is often due to similar reasons and is reliant on good stable earth beneath it. Shortly after spring the issues resolve themselves until the following spring. We appreciate the continued reporting of issues by residents using the SeeClickFix application.

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