‘Terrible’ year for potholes

The lingering cycle of thawing and freezing is keeping city crews busier this year plugging potholes.

Louis Desjardins

Louis Desjardins

The lingering cycle of thawing and freezing is keeping city crews busier this year plugging potholes.

Stephen Wright, city road superintendent, said last year that about 3,800 potholes were fixed and this year he expects there will be more.

Work began this spring around March 16, when snow really started to melt.

“We’ve had a couple of crews out every day trying to keep on top of them,” Wright said.

The city has already seen a few weeks of fluctuating temperatures that allows water to seep into cracks during the day. Then it freezes at night and “pops the asphalt out,” he said.

“This spring has been terrible.”

So far, there haven’t been any really nasty, huge holes. And hopefully, no more snow will fall, he said.

“I don’t even want to hear the word,” Wright said with a laugh.

Edmonton is using a new product out of Florida that is supposed to last longer than the traditional cold mix. Wright said the city will contact officials in Edmonton to see how it works. People promote products all the time to the city and it’s good to take a look at them because there’s always something better coming out, he said.

“We heard yesterday from a guy from Yellowknife. He’s got some kind of a product. They work in colder temperatures so it might work for us too. They’ll be down in this area before long and we’ll take a look at that product, too.”

But Wright said not everything works the way it’s supposed to, recalling a sample product from the United States to reduce ice on sidewalks.

“We got it up here and we set it just outside our shop door and it froze, so I don’t think it would work,” he said, chuckling.

“You’ve got to be careful.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com