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City cautions motorists about extended pot hole season

Thursday, March 27, 2014   by: Chris Dawson

City crews will have a tough time repairing this snow filled pot hole on Mountainview.  The weather has pushed back the Pot Hole repair season by at least a month. Photo by Chris Dawson.

It may be late spring on the calendar but public works crews are treating it like its mid winter still. 

Public Works director Alan Korell says normally this time of year less than 1 foot of frost remains in the ground.  This year in late March the frost level is more like a normal February day. 

“We are in mid winter mode still,” said Korell in an interview with BayToday.ca Thursday morning. 

“The frost is about 6 or 7 feet deep in the ground still.  It’s the worst frost since the mid 1980’s.”

Like many other places in Ontario, the cold weather has put a cramp on road repairs which normally are in full swing this time of year.  

While a recent warm spell in early March allowed the city crews to lay down some cold asphalt mix in pot holes, Korell says that’s only a band-aid fix, and permanent hot asphalt repairs won’t start until late May.  

“The cold mix could last a few months but will eventually fail,” admitted Korell about temporary pot hole repairs that are done in winter-like conditions.  

Worst yet to come? 

What’s worse, is Korell says once the frost comes out of the ground, the real pot holes will start popping up.   

Because Mother Nature has put a cramp on road repairs, Korell suggests drivers try to be more careful when driving over snow covered or water filled pot hole filled roads. 

 Once the frost does leave the ground, road crews will work on major arteries first.  Korell insists though the they will respond to calls by residents. 

“If you see some potholes please let us know we don’t see all of them,” said Korell who says the city spends more than 1 million dollars on pot hole repairs annually.   

“We try to meet the standards that the province sets for us.  The roads with most traffic get worked on first.  However if residents do find any on less traveled streets they need to call in to Public Works and report the pot hole to (705) 474-4340.” 

Which means that the late frost is just another bump in the road during this extended winter season. 

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