Potholes – the talk of the town

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Potholes. Why are there so many? What is the city doing about it? When will they be fixed? How are they being fixed?

It’s what Winnipeggers are talking about right now.

Here are some answers:

City crews fill potholes with ‘cold mix’ along Burrows Avenue in late April.

As of April 29, Winnipeg’s public works department has repaired approximately 45,934 potholes to date in 2022., with 13,310 potholes being filled in the week prior.

The city began its major pothole operations in early April and crews continue to repair potholes across the city to improve the condition of roadways, with a focus on main routes, bus routes and collector streets as required (and as weather allows), based on the street priority network.

The pothole repairs crews make at this time of year are temporary patches using an asphalt mix, called “cold mix”, specifically designed for use in cold, wet weather.

Because of unfavourable wet weather and wet road conditions at this time of year, crews may have to return several times to repair the same pothole to improve the condition of the roadway.

When temperatures warm up and regular “hot” asphalt becomes available in mid-May, crews will return to make permanent repairs.

That said, the number of potholes we see on city streets is proportional to how wet road conditions are and the extent of the freeze/thaw cycles we experience each spring. In the days ahead, it is expected more potholes will be developing and the city will be making pothole repairs accordingly.

As of the publication of this article, both the Maple Leaf and Nelson River Construction “hot mix” asphalt plants should be open. For those plants to start up effectively, stockpiles of raw materials must not be overly saturated and/or frozen and must run through the plant multiple times prior to mixing with oil. As well, colder temperatures force excessive use of heat which increases the cost of producing a tonne of asphalt considerably.

What you can expect is that the ‘emergency’ pothole repairs that have been taking place over the last weeks will be able to transition into the permanent fixes and we will begin making rapid progress even in the face of further deterioration expected from the challenging conditions.

What’s more, this summer, we will once again resume yet another year of record-breaking budgeted investments in road infrastructure (over $160 million this year, over half a billion in recent years) to bring many more streets into good quality condition, building on the huge investments and massive amount of road rehabilitation and construction that has already been done in the last seven years.

I hope you find this helpful and informative as we navigate these challenging spring road conditions together.

Matt Allard

Matt Allard
St. Boniface ward report

Matt Allard is the city councillor for St. Boniface.

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