City of Edmonton road crews have been busy responding to calls about flooded streets and sidewalks after a mix of recent hot and cold weather, dotted with bouts of freezing rain and snowfall.
By Tuesday afternoon, crews had cleared 1,000 catch basins, but that was only 50 per cent of the job needed to fix the pavement issues Edmontonians were facing.
As the melting continues, the city expects 311 calls to increase over snow removal issues. Andrew Grant of the City of Edmonton’s Infrastructure Field Operations Department said they would increase resources.
“The work never really stops,” Grant said.
“This year has been a very abnormal year in terms of freeze-thaw cycles.”
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According to Environment Canada, Edmonton saw about 75 centimeters of snow from November to early February.
The national weather agency said January is usually the snowiest month and March is the second snowiest month – so Edmonton could still see more.
Edmonton Weather Forecast: Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Grant acknowledged that melting windrows piled up by rolling crews aren’t helping the situation, but adds that it’s not the only contributing factor to the icy, muddy mess on sidewalks and streets.
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“I think a lot of the problem is just the melting away of people’s private properties.
“Everything is designed to flow towards the road (but) when you have continuous freeze-thaw cycles, water flows and then freezes overnight.”
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The city’s top priority this week is to clean up the catch basins and crews are working 24/7 to do this job. But Grant said homeowners need to do their part to help with snow removal.
“It’s definitely a bit of everyone’s responsibility. We’re working on the sumps to make sure the water has a place to go, but it’s also important that the traction gear is down,” Grant said.
People are encouraged to call 311 to report any issues with freeze-thaw cycles or snow removal.
As for potholes, the city said it has a dedicated team that works year-round to fix them, especially larger ones that pose a safety concern. But one big melt instead of multiple freeze-thaw cycles will help reduce the amount in the spring, Grant said.
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