Nova Scotia

Halifax sees pothole numbers double in a month

Road crews in the Halifax area are working around the clock to fix the growing number of potholes in the city.

There are 300 priority potholes to fix, and a total of 1,150 problem spots across the city

There are about 300 priority potholes to fix in Halifax. Those spots are either located on major roads, or they're more than eight centimetres deep. (Brian MacKay/CBC)

Road crews in the Halifax Regional Municipality are working around the clock to fix the growing number of potholes in the city.

There are now 1,150 potholes on the city's repair list — nearly double the number reported in February.

"That number is constantly fluctuating, as people report potholes and crews drive around and see and log more to our list," said city spokesperson Brynn Budden.

"Saturday was really warm and yesterday was quite chilly. That's not a friend to potholes, that's for sure."

Budden said what's notable is that there are about 300 spots on the priority list. That means they're more than eight centimetres deep, or are on major routes.

She said the city typically has a crew of 15 filling potholes during the day, but when conditions are rough like they are now, they add another 10 people to an overnight shift.

Budden said it takes about seven days to fix a priority pothole, or 30 days for the others.

The weekend rainstorm and quick freeze afterwards likely made some of the potholes worse, says the Halifax Regional Municipality. (Brian MacKay/CBC)

While drivers may grumble extra loud at this time of year, Budden said the numbers are only "a bit" higher than usual.

"Every winter in Nova Scotia is very, very different, but I would say this winter, we've seen a lot of fluctuating temperatures, and that can really worsen existing potholes on the road," she said.

Guy Deveau, the acting executive director for maintenance with the Public Works Department, said they have a $1-million budget to fill potholes every year, and said this year is on track to be the same.

"I think we may be a little more observant this time of year," he said. "As time goes on through the year, we may forget what spring pothole season is like."

Deveau said pothole conditions are similar from one end of the province to the other.

Why cities have worse potholes

"The urban areas, of course, where we have higher levels of traffic, are probably hit the hardest just because the repairs don't tend to last as long," he said.

Public Works has about 80 teams throughout Nova Scotia who focus on potholes during the day and night. Deveau said it's a challenge in the winter because when it's too cold out, they can't put down hot mix asphalt, which is more durable.

"So we do temporary repairs the best we can with cold mix," he said. "Unfortunately with the traffic and the weather, those repairs have a tendency not to stay very long."

Provincial pothole numbers

Budden and Deveau encourage people to report problem spots.

Deveau said since Feb. 1, the province has received 2,200 calls to report potholes, and 360 claims from people who say their vehicle was damaged as a result.

Budden did not have an updated number of damage claims that have been filed with the city.

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