City patching potholes
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/04/2020 (1145 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
While the city has cut back many services during the COVID-19 pandemic, repairing the potholes now pitting Winnipeg’s roads will remain a priority.
City crews must fix the thousands of road ruts while still following physical distancing practices to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
But city officials say they’re confident those changes won’t result in fewer of the crevices getting fixed this year or delay the work.
“Pothole patching productivity has not been impacted and crews are following the recently updated safe work procedure, based on provincial guidelines, whereby appropriate physical distances are maintained at all times,” wrote Ken Allen, a city of Winnipeg spokesperson, in an emailed statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t anticipated to have an impact on the amount of potholes we fill this season/year.”
Coun. Matt Allard (St. Boniface), the chairperson of council’s public works committee, said spring road repairs remain an essential service.
“We need to keep our roads open and safe for emergency vehicles and other uses,” said Allard.
The councillor said city crews have already filled about 13,560 potholes in 2020, as of April 3. He said 2,380 of those potholes were filled between March 27 and April 3.
“Spring cleanup is happening as usual,” said Allard.
Early spring pothole patching will rely on a compound that creates a temporary patching material that can work in cold, wet conditions, Allen wrote. More permanent hot asphalt repairs are expected to begin in mid-May.
Meanwhile, the city is receiving fewer reports about potholes this spring, possibly because fewer drivers are now on the roads to spot them. Many Winnipeggers continue to stay home as much as possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
A total of 630 potholes were reported to the city’s 311 line between Jan. 1 and April 7, 2020, which is down 33 per cent from the 935 reported during the same period of 2019, according to city service statistics. That includes 112 pothole reports made between April 1 and 7 of this year, a 57-per-cent drop from 260 pothole complaints made during the same period last year.
“With less motorists on the road, we are receiving less 311 service requests regarding potholes that need to be repaired. Please note, less reports won’t necessarily equate to less potholes being filled,” wrote Allen. “Our crews actively inspect road conditions and address areas of concern requiring pothole repairs.”
Winnipeg’s weekday traffic volumes have now fallen to about 60 per cent of the regular level, which will also reduce wear and tear on roads that can make potholes worse, Allen added.
Allard urged those who do spot potholes to call 311 to report the exact locations.
“We do rely on the public to provide information … we need the public to be reporting them,” he said.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.