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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack councillor has a message to share amid this time of fear: ‘there is hope’

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is new life and there is community’: Jason Lum

Trailer severely damaged in Sunday morning fire in downtown Chilliwack

Two people were sleeping in the trailer at the time, but they managed to get out with their dog

Mayor reacts to suggestion to ship those in quarantine from the DTES to Chilliwack

‘People do best when they stay where they have supports already in place,’ stated Chilliwack mayor

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Small Chilliwack grocery business offering free home delivery during COVID-19 pandemic

Dickens Sweets taking over-the-phone orders, won’t be charging to deliver it right to your doorstep

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

Crucial details of Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program expected today

The government has rolled out a bailout package totalling more than $200 billion

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 morning update: Olympics delayed one year; 12,000 health care workers infected

Comprehensive world news update: Lockdown in UK showing signs of hope

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands as you would after touching any surface or object

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

Most Read