City crews hustling to repair roads as Winnipeg enters pothole season

City crews working on filling potholes at Saskatchewan Avenue and Berry Street.
City crews working on filling potholes at Saskatchewan Avenue and Berry Street. Lauren McNabb / Global News

Spring usually brings about a lot of things: warmer weather, melted snow, the return of green to grass and trees … and in Winnipeg, potholes.

A spokesman for the City of Winnipeg‘s public works department said city crews are working hard to repair the thousands of potholes around the city, but it’s a big job.

“At this time of year when the spring thaw is happening, the snowbanks are melting and water is starting to accumulate on city streets – that’s when we start to see a lot of potholes,” said the city’s Ken Allen.

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“Our strategy at this time of year… we have very wet conditions and we have freezing temperatures overnight and warming during the day, so we’re really into that period where there’s a freeze thaw/cycle, and it’s that cycle that really causes the pavement to crack and the asphalt to pop and causes those potholes to come out.”

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Allen told 680 CJOB that the city uses temporary patches at this time of year, due to the wet conditions. The patches are made using a compound called “cold mix” and are designed for conditions when potholes are wet.

READ MORE: Winnipeg crews continue endless pothole fight with temporary spring fix

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“We know that it’s a temporary solution right now, just to keep the roadway clear and driveable,” he said.

“We’ll be coming back once hot asphalt is available, about mid-May, and we’ll be making permanent repairs once the pavement is dry, once the frost is out of the ground, and we’ll have a better chance of getting the patches to stay.”

Allen said the city has already patched thousands of potholes this year and expects to do many, many more. Last year, he said, the city filled upwards of 194,000 potholes throughout the year.

“It’s an important time of year for our crews to be out there trying to make the roads safe, and we’ve got to contend with conditions,” he said.

“We get many calls, and we want to encourage people to call 311 and let us know the location of where these repairs are needed. At this time of year, pothole patching is just one of the many repairs we’re doing.”

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