The Lethbridge County Public Works Department carries out activities to address its responsibility pertaining to the Municipal Government Act - Part 13 - Division 1 Chapter 532(1) and 532(2):
532 (1) Every road or other public place that is subject to the direction, control and management of the municipality, including all public works in, on or above the roads or public place put there by the municipality or by any other person with their permission of the municipality, must be kept in a reasonable state of repair by the municipality, having regard to:
a) the character of the road, public place or public work, and
b) the area of the municipality in which it is located.
(2) The municipality is liable for damage caused by the municipality failing to perform its duty under subsection (1).
In order to provide a year round safe and reliable County transportation system for various users and uses, the following functions are carried out by staff:
There is work done on an annual basis to improve the road ditches and backslopes on old elevator graded roads. This work normally improves the drainage and safety as well as reducing the snow catching hazard.
As part of regular construction maintenance the County will (on rotation or as needed) conduct a shoulder pull on roadways that have become increasingly wide or have excess material built up on shoulders.
Roads which are less travelled require few grading passes in a year. There is a tendency for grass to encroach onto the shoulders (side travel surface) of these roads. This program is utilized to control this encroachment by chemically treating the shoulders which removes the vegetative growth and keeps the road top clean without necessitating grading passes to control vegetation.
Lethbridge County Gravel Program is second only to the gravel road grading activity in terms of cost, manpower, time and planning. Commencing in late May and through to the month of October. County gravel trucks haul gravel material that is applied on County local roads in order to maintain them in a safe condition for the travelling needs of the general public.
The County has continual maintenance on paved roadways from spray patching to asphalt repair sections. This work is primarily conducted in the spring and summer months to address surface defects before they become a hazard to the travelling public.
As the demand for oiling, to prevent dust, becomes greater the County provides a service to its residents whereby they can purchase oiling material at a fixed fee under County Policy. This material is laid down by a County crew and equipment, in accordance with that policy, to remedy the dust complaint.
Eight motor graders are provided to plow roads in their respective areas on a priority basis.
Winter plow operations on paved roads consists of 4 designated plow/sanding units that service the County. Paved roads will be plowed clear of snow to a reasonable extent and intersection will have a sand/salt mixture applied in conjunction with a pre-wet additive for material retention. As weather events are ongoing paved roads may be continuously plowed and sanded accordingly.
There is a full-time employee involved in ensuring that the maintenance of signs is kept at a high standard in order to avoid the possibility of litigation. Effective sign management ensures that all necessary signs for road construction projects are erected.
Weather conditions and traffic cause gravel roads to fail for different reasons at different locations. The County is responsible to repair frost boils, bridge washouts, sloughing and remedial gravelling in order to keep roads in a safe condition. The County maintains a fleet of gravel trucks and trailers along with the necessary staff to meet these needs on a priority basis.
Culverts age, silt in, collapse or become too short due to circumstances and subsequently require replacement or lengthening. The County inspects and reviews the road system on a continuing basis and undertakes culvert installation and repair as needed.
Lethbridge County is responsible for the maintenance of roadside drainage within its boundaries.
In the winter months the County has employees who inspect bridges. Any defaults which are found are reported and remedial action recommended. The required repairs are implemented by the County with funding assistance provided by Alberta Infrastructure.
Paved local roads require centre and shoulder lines which must be repainted on a frequent basis to maintain safety.
Residents may haul materials to any of the Lethbridge Regional Waste Management transfer sites throughout the year.
There are individuals who on occasion will dump deleterious materials in the County Right-of-ways. County staff and equipment is used to clean up this material. If the perpetrator can be identified, the work is charged back and fines are issued as applicable.
The County has operated and operates a number of facilities which are subject to environmental hazards. We have on occasion been directed by Alberta Environment to clean up certain sites. This fund is intended to provide a buffer for future clean up orders if any are issued.