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Calgary man starts petition to fix pothole problems plaguing drivers

From cracks to deep craters, many Calgarians say city roads have turned into bumpy obstacle courses.

“This is a concern that every Calgarian is feeling,” driver Mukul Verma told Global News.

Verma recently started a petition to fix potholes in the city, particularly on Deerfoot Trail. Verma’s concerns have been around for years but were intensified after he had a very close call with his two young kids onboard.

“I almost hit a car,” he explained. “It actually made a big stop — trying to avoid a hole.”

Verma said it’s time to stop “avoiding” the problem and instead “fix” it, and not just temporarily.

“I won’t say it has to be all smoothened up and new, every day,” he said. “But it has come to a point where it needs major, major attention.”

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“It needs to be repaved. Not just repaired or two patches.”

Calgary auto mechanic Soren Lefsrud. Tomasia DaSilva

Calgary auto mechanic Soren Lefsrud agrees 2024 has been a hard year on roadways and vehicles.

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“This is probably one of the worst years I’ve seen for potholes,” he said.

Lefsruds Honest Auto has been doing about three-to-five alignments a week, far more than usual. It’s now booking appointments almost a month out.

“We’ve seen an increase of suspension components that have excessive wear in them which causes wear to your tires,” he continued.

“The size of the potholes right now, it doesn’t take long for them to do damage. It’s the repetitive impact and it will wear out the ball joints, wear out the springs and the shocks.”

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The fix? “Avoid potholes at all costs,” he said.

Pothole complaints

The City of Calgary has received about 4,000 pothole complaints since the start of the year.

Roads spokesperson Chris McGeachy told Global News, crews work on potholes year-round and are currently working hard to address those complaints and many more.

“Our crews are out there every day,” he said. “We have filled a number of potholes — 6,700 to date.”

McGeachy said Calgary fixed 33,000 potholes last year, adding the number and severity of potholes largely depend on the weather. He added potholes are created when moisture penetrates the surface and forms an ice pocket near the road and as that ice pocket melts away it forms a pothole. “The more fluctuation in weather, the more potholes,” he said.

“When you have more of those days where temperatures go above zero and then back below zero, you’re going to see more of that freezing,” he pointed out.

The city has a pothole fixing budget of $6.9M and expects to fill many of the potholes over the next few months.

Global News reached out to Alberta Transportation to find out its plans for potholes but has yet not heard back.

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