The annual spring pothole unveil has begun, with city crews already hard at work filling them up.
One crew of two employees started work last week and a second crew was scheduled to begin on Thursday, city operations manager Alain Trudel said, noting no lack of potholes to fill.
“There are fine cracks in the roads …. that form from winter to summer temperature changes and they get a little water that goes in there, freezes and pops out some of the asphalt,” he explained, adding that roads degrade pretty quickly once they start.
“This time of the year is the worst time -- we get those freeze-thaws, where they fill up with water and freeze.”
The spring procedure has crews heat up the pothole area, blow out loose material and lay in a cold asphalt mix.
“It’s an asphalt product that’s designed to work in the colder weather, so we lay that in and pack it in,” Trudel said. “It’s definitely a temporary patch until hot mix is available.”
Serving as a temporary bandage, spring roadwork is usually redone with the more resilient hot asphalt mix after the May long weekend.
“It all depends on how spring comes around,” Trudel added. “If we get a very warm spring, they may get started earlier.”
The Diefenbaker bridge’s northbound lane potholes were scheduled to be filled on Thursday, with a lane closure scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. to accommodate the work.
This time of the year is the worst time -- we get those freeze-thaws, where they fill up with water and freeze. - City operations manager Alain Trudel
Although this winter’s heavy snowfall creates a moist environment that potholes thrive in, the city has been proactive in removing snow from potential flood areas, Trudel said.
“We have picked up a lot of snow … so that runoff water will make a huge difference in those areas, because they will dry up fast,” Trudel said.
Last year had city crews fill up to 4,500 potholes throughout the year -- a range Trudel expects to meet during this year’s efforts.
Although a second city crew was scheduled to join the pothole effort on Thursday, making their rounds throughout the city, if members of the public spot a particularly deep or dangerous pothole they can contact the city’s public works department at 953-4900.
More minor potholes can be submitted using the “report a problem” button on the city’s website, at www.citypa.ca.
Crews will move on down the list of complaints as they receive them along with other potholes in their vicinity, though more severe potholes will be a priority.
“Be careful where you’re driving, because they can form quick … Be alert on the streets,” Trudel said. “That’s the nature of asphalt, I guess.”