With spring comes road work—every time, without fail.
This year, though, thanks to the City of Swift Current's increased efforts to tackle ice and snow on the roads throughout the winter, it may be alright.
Mitch Minken, the general manager of infrastructure and operations for the City of Swift Current, is proud of the work his crews have accomplished this year and expects it to pay some dividends when it comes to the thawing pavement.
"This year, we've seen less damage in the road surfaces than we have in previous years," Minken observed. "We can attribute that to a couple of things. We have had some freeze-thaws, but we haven't had major freeze-thaws and our new initiative on keeping the streets clear, getting the ice off, and the snowpack too, will help."
Another factor outside of the crews and their work is, as Minken said, mother nature herself. As the weather has managed to have some light thawing action for the last few months, it's let some of the built-up ice and frost out as water. Instead of coming up and out of the road all at once, this slower release may help ease the damage caused by frost heaves.
"While the streets are still frozen, what tends to lead to broken edges and potholes is the water gets in underneath the pavement, cars drive over it, break the pavement away and the next thing you know you got a pothole," explained Minken. "So without the water, that should hopefully help reduce the amount of breakage."
Minken and his team still expect their fair share of work, with May expected to be when they can begin effectively repairing potholes and heaves.
"The worst areas are likely to be the high-traffic areas. I think we've seen some already around Memorial Drive and Highway One, through that complex there where it's been a bit roughed up. Expect to see some on Central Avenue and in the same complex from George Street, north to Robert Street, and one of my personal favourites between Cheadle and Chaplin on Sixth Avenue, which is just another high-traffic area."
People can keep looking to Swift Current Online, as work begins later this spring, for any road closures, delays, or hazardous potholes around Swift Current.