Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ahh Spring....

The city has a general email account that people use from time to time to send notes myself or council. As we get in to spring I expect this won't be the last one I receive that is concerned about the roads.

I try to respond to any email that has a working return address and a name. Here's the resident's note (with their name removed) and my response:

I know your the new mayor of Grande Prairie, but you might want to start doing something and get the roads fixed because they are shitty, that's the only way to describe it. You might want to start considering the citizens of Grande Prairie because if your doing nothing to fix the roads, are you gonna pay for all the vehicle damages? 

 - Name Removed - 

My response....

Hi - Name Removed -, thanks for the note. 

You'll notice that we've had a spring with lots of melting, then re-freezing. This is really rough on the roads, it creates lots of potholes that weren't there last fall because the run-off water gets in to tiny cracks in the pavement and then freezes over night. When it freezes it expands and breaks apart the pavement just like a bottle that's left in the freezer too long. 

We will be going after these potholes very aggressively but there's not too much we can do until more of the snow melts and the temperatures get warmer. We have already had some crews out addressing the worst cases but that work doesn't last because it's still too wet can cold for the repairs to hold. 

This summer we plan to spend about $20 million on road repair, construction and overlays as well as sidewalk construction. So this area is a major priority for me, Council and our staff.... and we're spending a significant amount of your tax dollars on it. 

I hope you'll notice the improvement but understand that our weather here make this an ongoing battle and that every spring will bring new potholes no matter what we do. 

Thank you again for taking the time to write.

Bill Given, 
Mayor, City of Grande Prairie 

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