It's springtime, and locals are aware that caution is to be exercised on the freshly revealed pavement.
Between the temperature changes and perhaps less than tender snow plows, our roads are typically a mess right about now. For the last five or six years it has been my job to bring that carnage to you, showing off the worst potholes in town and cautioning motorists to avoid them if possible.
This year was going to be special. I left my home in the West End, Godzilla figure in tow. It was my plan to pay homage to a SooToday tradition from before my time here. In years before I came aboard, staff would photograph "Britny Soo" a Barbie who liked to pose inside potholes as if they were hot tubs. It helps to show the scale.
I wanted to do an updated version of this and since I'm a nerd and there's a new Godzilla movie coming it seemed like the perfect way to put a new spin on an old story.
So, Godzilla and I drove, and drove, and drove, searching for some "monster" potholes to pose him in. We searched the roads we've been down in previous years sure to be a mess — Cooper, Biggings, Dacey, Simpson . . . nothing.
We found only one pothole even remotely worthy of mention. We photographed it quickly, as I didn't want a competing network to learn of the city's only pothole.
This was going to be our story.
But it was not to be. Perhaps it's because of the mild winter we had. Less dramatic temperature shifts? A more gradual thaw involving fewer plows?
Larry Girardi, the deputy CAO who oversees the city's public works department, tells us that's part of it.
"Mother nature was kind to us weather wise, providing sunshine and wind which really assisted with snow melt. This reduction in snow allowed crews to clear the catch basins in short order so water could escape from the road surface and without water you reduce the freeze thaw cycle which causes potholes," said Girardi, in an email. "
"Another major contributing factor was the improvements to the road surface on Bay Street and Trunk Road, which were significant contributors to the many pothole calls we receive. With the resurfacing completed on these two well-traveled roadways, our forces can focus on the other roadways that require attention. All in all we had a reasonable winter and well deserved mild spring so far."
Usually, I just do the camera stuff, but today I bring you the worst pothole Godzilla and I could find on our two-hour journey from west to east and back again.