March 6, 2015 2:41 pm
Updated: March 6, 2015 2:55 pm

Potholes open up in Halifax roads as rough Atlantic winter continues

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HALIFAX – An icy winter has opened up potholes all over the streets of Halifax, causing frustration for drivers who are dealing with flat tires and increased vehicle maintenance as a result.

Donnie Pellerine, the city’s superintendent of streets and sidewalks, said there are about 1,050 potholes in the backlog, and 271 are considered to be priority status because they’re deeper than two inches.

“We’ll be attacking those in the next two or three weeks,” he said.

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The number of potholes is expected to grow, which will leave city crews scrambling to keep up.

“Hazard to the motoring public is something we are trying to avoid,” said Pellerine. “We want to get as many potholes as we can each day and each night, and we do between three to 400 a week.”

Road crews cannot use hot-patching to fill the holes this time of the year. Instead, they’re using a new product called “aquafault”, which lets them permanently fix a pothole in any conditions in only a few minutes.

“It comes in a bucket. It’s easy to use,” said Pellerine. “You just add water to it and it becomes a permanent repair, rather than us going back time and time again with the cold-mix products. We’ve had great success with this product.”

He said the temperature fluctuations are a regional problem that leads to more potholes.

“All that moisture that’s sitting in holes and crevices right now is going to freeze…that’s how you get that expansion effect that brings the asphalt up,” he said.

Earlier in the week, hubcaps littered the side of the road where Highway 111 merges onto Highway 118 in Dartmouth thanks to a gaping pothole.

“Between the 118 and 111, it’s my ninth car with a flat tire,” said Bill Urquhart of Academy Towing.

One woman who hit the pothole said she wasn’t expecting it.

“You really don’t see anything out there,” said Sandi Lee. “I mean, I was not even going fast. I was just merging onto the highway, so I was probably only going 50 to 60. I hit the pothole and five seconds after the fact, I had to pull over.”

People who see potholes can report them to the city by calling 311.

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