City issues notice to motorists regarding potholes

Municipalities aren't legally responsible to ensure roads are free of defects and hazards.

  • Mar. 12, 2015 1:00 p.m.

Potholes have begun their annual spring appearance on the streets of Cranbrook and are sure to become a hot topic of discussion for residents.

Potholes are weather related and can occur at any time of the year. They are normally formed following extreme weather, with the freezing and thawing of sub-surface water from rain or snow runoff that has infiltrated into the ground through surface cracks.

The weakening of the pavement structure combined with heavy traffic loads eventually leads to the formation of potholes.

The City deals with a large network of streets and Public Works has a fixed number of work crews, equipment and other resources with which it can respond to and repair road defects.

“When a pothole is reported to us, the repair work is scheduled and carried out accordingly,” says Public Works Director Joe McGowan.

“In normal circumstances our crews can respond to pothole repairs in a timely manner. During extreme and unfavourable weather conditions when pothole problems are numerous and proper repair work cannot be carried out, only temporary repairs will be made until conditions improve.”

To report potholes, please contact the City of Cranbrook Public Works Department at 250-489-0218.

The law in British Columbia does not make a municipality legally responsible to ensure that its roads are always free of defects or hazards such as potholes and The Local Government Act, Section 288, provides that a municipality does not have the legal liability for damages that arise from a breakdown in a road.

The municipality must be found to have been negligent in the particular circumstances.

Motorists are advised that written notice of intent to claim must be provided to a municipality within two (2) months of the events that give rise to the claim – per The Local Government Act, Section 286.