Many New Brunswickers are eagerly waiting for the arrival of spring but in some parts of the province pothole season is already in full swing.

The size and number of potholes popping up across the province is already causing a concern for municipalities as they try to keep up.

Kevin Rice, Saint John's commissioner of transportation and environment services, said the number of potholes on the city`s priority list has more than doubled compared to last year.

"We do prioritize them. We have criteria depending on the size and depth of the pothole as to which ones we'll repair first," he said.

"But we also try to do them in a geographical manner so if we're on a street, we'll take care of the most severe but we'll also take care of some of the other ones in the immediate area."

Fixing potholes

Kevin Rice, the commissioner of transportation and environment services, said the number of potholes on the city's priority list has more than doubled compared to last year. (CBC)

Rice said the city uses cold mix at this time of year for quick short-term patches and a new asphalt recycler is helping the city lay up to eight tonnes per day.

Saint John drivers are well aware of the rough shape that many city roads are in right now.

``I think the roads kind of suck. It's really rough on the cars these days,`` said Richard Steeves, a taxi driver in the city.

Carl White called Douglas Avenue "a mess." He said there were "bumps and holes all over the place."

The growing number of potholes around the province has prompted an online contest to find the worst road in Atlantic Canada.

This is the fourth consecutive year the Canadian Automobile Association has asked drivers to point out the worst roads in the region.

"(Roads are) important to our tourism, the economy, also safety," said Gary Howard, a vice-president of communications for CAA in the Maritimes.

"Driving is not really a privilege anymore. It's a necessity, so we want to ensure that roads remain in good condition and that repairs are made."

Howard said cities and the provincial government are doing a better job of making repairs to roads. But he said the federal government is not keeping pace.

"Where we see a big deficit, if you will, is with the federal government. They collect over $4 billion in gasoline taxes, yet they spend less than 10 per cent of that on the roads," he said.