Great Falls Road Conditions, Part II


See Part I here.

Spring has arrived and the snow is melting. Which is worse? The snow and ice packed roads or the slush and refreeze? Either way, it calls attention to the City’s need to revise the current snow and ice removal and control plans.

But let’s talk springtime roads… And potholes. We all know where I come from, Pothole central. With the use of salt and other ice control products, potholes are a natural occurrence. Or so I thought. There are more potholes here than I ever saw in my suburban home town.

Potholes aren’t caused by the use of ice melting products as much as they are caused by the rapid expansion and contraction of water in its frozen state. It seeps into visible and invisible cracks where it freezes and expands. Then it thaws and seeps even further. Repeat this throughout the winter and eventually you have a wicked pothole. Basic middle school science.

By not properly removing snow, our roads are at even higher risk of potholes over the next few weeks as we experience frozen nights and spring like days. How does the City plan to handle this? A well functioning city would respond to a pothole call within 24 hours.

I’ve been fighting with the same pothole at the edge of my driveway for over 2 years now. I’m sure it’s been there longer than that though. I am certain that many of you have a hatred or these tire and axle destroyers just as I do.

With a strong desire from the community to review and revise the snow and ice removal plan, the City needs to listen. Snow removal and potholes are related and the cost of each need to be taken into consideration with such an action.

The City needs to repave so many streets, not to mention making the crosswalks ADA compliant and relaying all sidewalks. This alone would cost us hundreds of thousands in taxes and possibly grants.

This would also result in probably millions being needed in the end because they would have to replace the storm and sewage drains under many roads they repaved. Do you know how much of that could have been avoided if proper snow removal techniques had been applied from the start?

The road conditions in Great Falls are pretty intense. I believe it to be a misappropriation of taxpayer funds. The City Streets Department only received enough tax money to pay the wages and salaries of department employees.

All road work of any kind is almost completely non-funded. Barely even getting donations or grants. Either the City is just that broke, or… based on the fact that the city budget is available online for public access, you can infer that fund misappropriation is the better culprit. Our city officials should be ashamed of themselves.



Posted by Tori Unger

Tori Unger grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and moved to Great Falls in 2016. She is passionate about community awareness and involvement as well as safety issues and is a voice to be reckoned with.

Reader interactions

6 Replies to “Great Falls Road Conditions, Part II”

  1. Tori, Everything you’ve written is true and many share your angst. I wrote a correlating diatribe yesterday, then cancelled it since nothing that’s written or said about our City’s leadership seems to change anything except to open doors of criticism and argument, usually targeting the messenger instead of the message. Do you have any ideas regarding how Great Falls City services and those who should be positively initiating them can be improved? Certainly, we all see and know what’s wrong but how can we bring about positive change to Great Falls leadership including that of local law enforcement, City Sanitation, the City Street Department, and Code Enforcement? I’m all for positive change but how do we bring it about?


    1. Right now, the only thing anyone can do is raise awareness on what needs to change in GF. We need more people to stand behind us and share in these opinions in order to truly be heard by our city officials. We need more people to not vote for those officials who won’t let the changes happen. And we need more people to want better for great falls.


  2. “I believe it to be a misappropriation of taxpayer funds.”

    Pretty strong suggestion. What evidence do you base this on?


    1. My basis to my opinion is based on what I saw in the city budget. I said so in the article. When there are departments and programs being over funded and other being severely under funded, you have a misappropriation of funds. Simple.


      1. Gotcha. I was reading “misappropriation” with the more negative connotation suggesting corruption. My error.

        Can you be more specific? Which departments are getting too much? Are you suggesting that some departments have unspent surpluses? I’m not trying to troll you–I am curious as to what you think would be a better allocation. As you know, it’s easy to throw bombs, but without constructive suggestions, it’s easy for the Commissioners to dismiss us as ‘cranks.’


        1. That’s a really good question. While i don’t have enough notes on which specific departments are over funded, i did notice enough to know that there are several that are not only over funded, but also over spending. One in particular that really grinds my gears is the amount of funding that goes to helping homelessness. If the city was working more towards combating this problems, they would spend significantly less and that money can go to the other underfunded departments such as streets or even parks….


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