(Friday, January 10) – Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) would like to advise residents that, given the recent wet weather and extreme freezing and thawing, the municipality is seeing the development of potholes earlier this season throughout HRM.
Potholes are formed during weather cycles such as snow, rain, freezing rain and freeze-thaw cycles. When moisture seeps below asphalt, then freezes and thaws, a gap is created under the asphalt that is compromised by vehicle traffic. When vehicles drive over the asphalt, the asphalt collapses into the gap to form a pothole.
In HRM, pothole patching is a year-round effort to ensure the streets are safe. Potholes are identified during road patrols from HRM staff and through calls from residents to #311. HRM has service standards for timelines of when potholes are repaired. Priority is placed on arterials and other streets with significant potholes.
HRM uses the most effective methods and materials available for the repairs, choosing either hot asphalt patching or cold patching. During hot asphalt patching, as the name suggests, the asphalt is extremely hot so it stays flexible as it is worked into the pothole. During the winter, the private asphalt plants shut down for maintenance and there is limited opportunity to obtain hot asphalt. However, HRM has a mobile asphalt recycler, which allows the municipality to recycle asphalt from damaged roads, broken asphalt curb, and leftover asphalt that has gone cold, to repair current potholes.
Cold patch is also used. It can be applied directly from the container, but must be heated by a portable torch during the coldest temperatures to keep it pliable. It can be applied under all weather conditions, but is susceptible to road bed movement, vehicle traffic and snow removal operations.
Hot recycled asphalt allows for a longer lasting repair, than cold patching and is generally the most preferred method.
For more information on potholes, as well as HRM’s standards for pothole maintenance, please visit: www.halifax.ca/municipalops/potholes/index.html.
To report a pothole, please call #311, or fill out the on-line form at: https://apps.halifax.ca/311.