Enginneer Dave Hein was commissioned by the Transportation Association of Canada to uncover better solutions to pothole repairs. (The Canadian Press)

Underfunding, bad repairs, cited for why Canadian roads are breaking down

Engineer calls potholes ‘very personal’ for those who have to pay for new rims, tires and more

Municipal and provincial governments in Canada are all looking for better ways to deal with their growing pothole problems, but none is properly tracking whether the repairs they do now are effective over time, says the author of a soon-to-be completed study on the roadway menaces.

And few appear prepared to spend the money necessary to ensure what they shovel into the car-crippling craters lasts until longer-term road repairs can be performed, says engineer Dave Hein.

READ MORE: Drivers swerve to avoid giant potholes on dangerous road near B.C. city

“Everybody says they’re trying new things,” says Hein, who calls potholes “very personal” for the countless drivers who have to pay for new wheel rims and tires and to fix bent suspensions after encountering them.

“Everybody’s looking for the magic bullet, and nobody’s got the magic bullet,” says Hein, principal engineer at Applied Research Associates, Inc., which was commissioned by the Transportation Association of Canada to uncover better solutions to pothole repairs. The association studies technical issues related to roads, highways and urban transportation.

“Nobody has performance measures,” Hein added in an interview with The Canadian Press. “And nobody even tracks to see if what they are doing is performing better than somebody else.”

Cities and towns, along with provincial and territorial governments, have been experimenting with different materials and new technologies to tackle potholes.

The cities of Ottawa and Thunder Bay, Ont., Cranbrook, B.C., and Montreal are among those that have experimented with a pothole-filling machine called the Python 5000, which mechanically fills cracks and crevices in roadways — work normally performed by manual labourers — in efforts to speed repairs and ensure they are done uniformly.

Others have tested a variety of hot and cold mixes of asphalt and other materials, hoping they find something better than what has been used in the past.

Hein’s final report to the association is due in April.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

SD91 and UNBC held a workshop where students discussed community stressors

Youth voices are important and need to be heard, says UNBC researcher

Fort St. James gets a new CAO

Melany Helmer comes with years of senior management experience

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

Move natural gas pipeline, MP suggests

Coastal GasLink could then avoid opposition

Mueller finds no Trump collusion, leaves obstruction open

But while Mueller fully ruled out criminal collusion, he was more circumspect on presidential obstruction of justice

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Woman wants Tofino to get a nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

Ice climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall on Vancouver Island

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

New Coast Guard ship crashes into breakwater in Victoria

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Sparks fly as SUV speeds wrong way down Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

B.C. doctor fined $5,000 for accessing records of woman pregnant with his child

Doctor admits to accessing records of the woman carrying his child

Video service to compete with Netflix, Amazon expected from Apple on Monday

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Most Read