The city is looking into a long-term strategy to deal with the thousands of potholes dotting Edmonton roads.

Transportation manager Bob Boutilier said more money is needed to do roadway maintenance and rehabilitation.

The city budgeted $20 million for pothole repairs this year — and Boutilier said he would like to see this more than double to $50 million by 2015.

A strong maintenance program should mean less potholes in the future, he said Thursday.

"It’s a matter of state of good repair," said Boutilier, "and state of good repair begins the day you take on the infrastructure."

"The problem we run into is that when the road is new and you think ‘well, everything's fine’ you start to let things slip a bit — but... ultimately, you do have to do something underneath," he said.


Boutilier says potholes like these are a symptom of a bigger problem. (CBC)

Boutilier said the added investment will go towards a longer-term plan for roadway management.

"In some cases, the potholes, or the bumps in the road, are a symptom of the problem underneath," he said. "And that's where we want to get ahead of the game because we can’t wait until we start having failure of road systems — then it’s very expensive" [to repair].

"A lot of the preventative maintenance we're doing will extend the life of the roadway so we're not rehabilitating as frequently."

Coun. Don Iveson agrees with Boutilier that correcting the pothole problem is worth the higher price tag.

He said he’s confident that Edmontonians will support council investing more in the pothole problem.

"We’ve done great work on our local roads and some of our bus routes, but our main roads are really starting to show some of the results of failing to invest — not just for the last couple of years, but really going back 20 years."

"So we've got a lot of catching up to do — but citizens expect it."

He said he expects city council to support the plan.