Commuters warned to watch for potholes

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March 17, 2015 8:15 AM

While the melting show and the thawing ice are sure signs of warming weather, there is also a danger to the rate at which we reach the summer months.

Spring is the worst time of year when it comes to potholes, and with temperatures shifting from -20 C to 0 C every week, the City of Lloydminster wants residents to be careful when taking to the streets.

“There might be a little bit more than last year, but spring is a bad time for potholes. That’s when you see most of them appearing,” said acting director of public works Dave Henning.

Potholes are created when moisture seeps into cracks in the asphalt, then freezes and expands. This erodes the roads and creates weak points. The situation is then aggravated by traffic running over these cracks over time.

Henning said the city is tackling this problem in a utilitarian manner.

“The area we cover first is our two main highways, and then the ring road and then we concentrate on the downtown and our underbody plow routes that we plow in the wintertime,” he said. “Those are the highest-traveled areas of Lloydminster, so they get the first attention.”

See “Potholes,” Page 5

At this time of year it is still too cold for permanent pothole fixes. While maintenance crews wait for warmer weather, the city turns to a provisional solution.

“We use a temporary mix, it is called Instant Road Repair and we buy it currently in barrels and that’s how we patch (potholes) for now until the weather can warm up,” Henning said. “It’s a really pliable asphalt-style mixture, oil and gravel mixed together, and then you put it in the hole and you pack it a bit and then you let the vehicles pack it also as they’re going over. It’s a temporary fix until it warms up when you can actually go and do the repair properly.”

Henning says that asphalt production around Lloydminster doesn’t pick up until the May long weekend, so it will still be a couple of months until the city expects to begin with its long-term main repairs.

In the meantime, commuters are being reminded to be cautious when driving on roads that have puddles and potholes. Not all hazards can be seen by the naked eye.

“There could be vehicle damage. We encourage all residents to at this time of year especially, if you see water on the roads, slow down because there could possibly be a pothole underneath the water that you can’t see,” Henning said. “If there is damage to vehicles please contact your insurance company, and if they feel there is an issue they will contact the City of Lloydminster.”

Henning says that if residents would like to report potholes in their areas, they should turn to the Report a Concern page on the city’s website. More information can be found at http://www.lloydminster.ca/requesttracker.aspx.

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