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Pothole situation could get worse, says city

We could be in for a for a bumpier ride than usual.
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We could be in for a for a bumpier ride than usual.

Potholes crop up every spring, but all the snow we've had this year and the freezing and thawing that has been happening recently is a potential problem for city streets, says Mike Lebel, superintendent of public works.

As the snow melts, the resulting water pools on the asphalt and when it freezes again, it “pops” and creates a pothole, he said.

“That’s the biggest issue, the freeze/thaw cycle,” said Lebel.

That’s why crews continue to work to clear snow and ice from catchbasins and to remove snowbanks from roadsides, said Lebel.

Five pothole crews are currently patrolling the city and public works has started up its asphalt recycling machine, said Lebel.

Some areas, however, have been hard to fix this early in the season, he said.

“If the holes are full of water, there isn’t a material in the world invented yet that will stick,” said Lebel.

Great Northern Road and Second Line is one of those spots, where crews have repeatedly filled holes with cold mix asphalt, he said.

Lebel said the busy intersection is difficult to fill during the day and he expects a weekend crew will likely attempt to use hot mix to address that particular spot.

Great Northern Road has been a trouble spot in general, and Lebel said he may request the top layer of asphalt be stripped and replaced during the summer.

Anyone wanting to report a pothole that needs to be filled, should call public works at 705-759-5201.

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SooToday.com would love to see your best pothole photos.

And if you’ve had a run in with a pothole, tell us about it.

We’ll put together a photo gallery and publish some of the best stories.

Send photos and stories to news@sootoday.com



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Mike Purvis

About the Author: Mike Purvis

Michael Purvis is a writer, photographer and editor who has been covering local news in Sault Ste. Marie for the last 10 years. He currently serves as managing editor of SooToday.
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