Matt Casey, staff writer
March 22, 2011 — Other than warmer temperatures, a sure sign of spring are those deep potholes that dot roads in almost every Canadian city.
After a snowy, cold winter in much of Canada many Canadians are dealing with yet another after effect of the season--potholes, and lots of them, especially in the Maritimes.
Potholes form on roads more often in the spring when there is a large variation in temperatures.
“With the heavy rains we've been getting and the freeze thaw cycles we have been getting a lot of potholes,” says Roger Cormier of the Maritime Road Development Corporation in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Warmer temperatures during the day followed by freezing temperatures overnight cause water in cracks of the pavement to freeze and expand. Over time, this constant expanding and contracting starts to wear away at the pavement. Add heavy vehicles driving over the weakened asphalt and a pothole is formed.
In Moncton, road crews are busy trying to repair the roads as quickly as they can. But that can be a dangerous job, especially when drivers don't slow down near the crews.
“We've had a lot of near misses with people working along the centerlines depending on what they are doing,” says Joe Fudge a worker with the Maritime Road Development Corporation.
Jeff Scott is the Technical Assistant for the streets division with the city of Moncton. He says that although speed limits are not reduced when workers are only patching potholes, drivers should still slow down and be alert to road signs.
“Drivers need to pay attention to crews, to slow down as they go around them if they're working in one of the available lanes. They (city vehicles) do have lighted light bars on the side of the vehicle to indicate which side of the vehicle they need to pass on.”
This winter has been tough on the roads in cities across Canada and work crews will be busy across the country repairing roads. Scott says the simplest way for drivers to avoid an accident is to just slow down.
“Care around the drivers is appreciated. Just in terms of slowing down, making sure that you don't come too close to the (work) vehicles.”