'Challenging season' for Winnipeg pothole repairs, city says

Pothole season as been taken to another level this spring, with city crews scrambling to repair the craters. Michelle Karlenzig reports.

Flooded basements aren’t the only issues Winnipeggers are struggling with after a difficult — and extra-long — winter season. Streets all over the city are suffering from potholes that crews are scrambling to repair.

“It’s definitely a challenging season, and some ripple effects from the very long and harsh winter season that we’re having,” Michael Cantor, the city’s manager of streets maintenance, told 680 CJOB.

“These freeze-thaw cycles that we’re constantly having with wet conditions, rain and melting snow, are just creating unfavourable conditions for us patching those holes.

“At this point, we fill them a few times a day, and try to make those roads as passable as possible.”

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Cantor said it’s too early in the season — and too wet, anyway — for the city to start using hot asphalt to plug some of the craters that have appeared on its roads, but that work isn’t far off.

“Once we get a few days of dry conditions, we will be able to repair potholes much more successfully,” he said. “And once we have access to hot asphalt available to us, we will be able to repair them more permanently.

“The hot asphalt plant is not open yet — we expect it to be open in a week or two, and once we have that, these repairs will be much more permanent and we will be able to catch up.”

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According to Executive Director of Bike Winnipeg, Mark Cohoe, motorists aren’t the only ones who have to be mindful of potholes.

“Lots of water out there, lots of puddles to think about and if you’re biking you’re never really sure what’s under that puddle,” he said.

Cohoe encouraged cyclists to be vigilant on the road, and for drivers to be patient when cruising behind a cautious biker.

“If you have to get out of the lane to avoid the pothole that’s what you’re going to do,” he said. “If you’re driving behind someone just be aware that that’s what they’re doing, and they’re going to need to be able to do that.

“If we can all cooperate, we’ll get through it a lot better.”

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