Winnipeg's streets, back lanes and sidewalks took a beating this past winter, but Coun. John Orlikow says the city's infrastructure woes could worsen with the delayed spring thaw.

The River Heights-Fort Garry councillor says he's worried the late thaw could move up frost that has been buried deep underground thanks to the unusually cold winter, possibly making existing infrastructure problems worse. 

John Orlikow

River Heights-Fort Garry Coun. John Orlikow says he's worried the late thaw could move up frost that has been buried deep underground thanks to an unusually cold winter. (CBC)

"When that pushes up, my concern is how will soil move underneath all this?" he said Tuesday.

Orlikow said especially in an older ward like his, damaged streets and back lanes are everywhere this spring.

"We're already seeing these sinkholes," he said.

"We did a lot of plowing, so those guys went really fast," he said. "Oh, they ripped out some curbs and pretty impressively."

Crews have only recently started to clean up the mess left behind by the winter, including layers of sand on city streets.

"Some intersections I've seen, it's about four inches of sand and rubble," Orlikow said.

Orlikow said he wants the city to accelerate the spring streets cleanup and start dealing with the infrastructure concerns soon, and he wants a Plan B in case more problems emerge.

He also warned that city hall may have to spend more money to fix more infrastructure issues — something that resident Andrew Buck says he's prepared to deal with, but he has one concern.

"A lot of people don't mind paying more for taxes but want to see that value," said Buck.

"Unfortunately with the track record city hall's had as of late, there's some accountability concerns there that some people have."