Pothole season has Charlottetown public works crews busy

Dave Stewart
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As the weather gets warmer and there is more rain then snow along with some freezing and thawing the dreaded potholes are making an appearance such as this one on Upper Queen Street in Charlottetown.

Charlottetown’s public works chairman says three crews are out every day filling potholes.

Coun. Terry Bernard said Tuesday they’ve been popping up everywhere lately.

“As everybody knows it’s been our worst winter in 42 years but what really happened here is that we’ve had a quick thaw and with a quick thaw . . . (combined) with all the snow melting the asphalt heaves,’’ Bernard said.

And the more vehicle traffic there is, the worse the holes become.

“It’s just unbelievable how quickly they’re coming. We now have three crews out there repairing them and we are getting caught up.’’

The city currently has one crew operating the hot asphalt machine. The machine was purchased in 2010 from a company in Michigan for $30,000. It takes crumbled asphalt from broken curbs and pavement, remixes it at high temperature and uses it to ‘hot patch’ potholes.

Essentially, it acts like a big oven. It’s designed to make the pavement stay longer than the cold mix of fine gravel and tar.

Motorists in the city might notice the big orange machine being towed behind a city truck. Crews are taking a blowtorch to dry the wet pothole so the material will bind to it. They then pour the hot asphalt in before rolling it smooth.

The real test comes at times like this when potholes begin popping up like bunnies because of the freeze/thaw cycle.

Bernard said public works has two additional crews out on the roads applying cold patching until the hot asphalt machine is available.

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Michigan

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