A Montreal man who captured city workers on video dumping asphalt into potholes in the pouring rain says he’s outraged by what he says is the city’s lacklustre effort to address the issue of crumbling roadways.
The video, shot yesterday near the intersection of West Hill Avenue and De Maisonneuve Boulevard by Ranjit Vijay, shows workers shovelling the material into sizable potholes, which are brimming with water.
“If they do it in the pouring rain, they’re not going to do a proper job and a long-lasting job," he said.
"They’re going to come back again, waste taxpayers’ money, and that’s why our roads are like that...This is a waste of money. If they would have waited two or three hours until the sun was shining, fine.”
A day after the repairs were made, the potholes were gone, but the patches provided a pretty rough ride for motorists.
Michel Therrien, a spokesman for the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, said the repairs were intended to be temporary.
"Until the weather gets better, we are doing emergency repairs to improve [safety] on the street," he said.
The city will fix them properly when weather permits, he said.
However, some experts say applying even a temporary patch in the rain is futile.
"All surfaces where new asphalt is spread should be dry and clean," said civil engineer and McGill University professor emeritus Saeed Mirza.
"You see you got the water there and the bond between the two surfaces would not be proper and the result would be that, within a day or two or within a few weeks as the traffic moves over it, the repair would be completely lost."
He said Montreal and many cities across North America are taking the wrong approach to pothole repair and, in turn, wasting time and money. Dumping asphalt into the hole and leaving rough ends only means the patch is worn off quickly, he said.
"This is wasting millions and millions of dollars on what I'd call ineffective repair," said Mirza.
Doing a proper repair job would require waiting for a dry day and cutting a larger, square hole in the roadway to ensure rough edges aren't worn off, but it would save the city and residents money and frustration, he said.