"It's actually really helped,": Cold winter slows pothole growth
After a miserable winter, the sunshine almost makes up for ever-emerging potholes.
But it turns out the bitter cold was good for something.
“By having the cold spell and not having the warmer periods in January and February, it’s actually really helped,” Regina Roadways and Transportation director Norman Kyle said. “The cold spell kept the road frozen, and that prevents potholes from freezing.”
Regina has about 50 reported potholes and utility cuts that need to be fixed.
Many of them may be small, but they can still have an impact.
The abrupt hit of a tire on the sharp edge of a pothole can cause suspension and tire damage.
“When you hit, it will basically squish a tire right down to the rim,” Frame and Wheel Alignment general manager Steve Karch explained. “Instead of the suspension moving up and down, it wants to push the suspension back from where it should be. That can cause components to bend, break, or create excessive wear.”
The city spends $1 million fixing potholes every year.
While road maintenance doesn’t count how many potholes are patched, repairs require about 12 thousand tonnes of asphalt.
That’s not the only hazard on the road.
A water main break caused a large sinkhole to open up in a residential area of Weyburn Sunday afternoon.
Repairs should wrap quickly, but it serves as a reminder that the perils of winter driving are quickly being replaced by the obstacles of spring.
Four city crews are out using cold-mix asphalt as a temporary solution until the summer months. Their primary focus in on major roadways in hopes small cracks won’t become a big problem.
“When there’s a truck route, semi trucks going over it, it can grow quite significantly in a matter of a few days,” Kyle added. “Local roads, not so much.”
Kyle is urging residents to report potholes by using the City Hall’s Contact Us form or calling 306-777-7000 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.