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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Bad season for potholes

Orillia | by Ian MacLennan  

City says it is at the mercy of winter when it comes to the number of potholes.

No vehicles have disappeared into a giant pothole but it has been a bad season for them in Orillia.

Kyle Mitchell,  the city's Manager of Source Protection and Operations, says they are at the mercy of winter.

Between December and this week,  the average temperature in Orillia has been minus 2 and there has been 42 days where the temperature was above freezing, or about 40% of the season.

Mitchell says those kinds of conditions create more potholes.

Potholes are formed, according to Mitchell, when water seeps under the road and freezes,  and once it freezes it expands,  creating a depression under the road surface.

Once there is melting and the weight of a vehicle drives over it,  a pothole is created.

Crews are constantly out looking for potholes,  and residents have an important role to play by alerting the city about any potholes they encounter (705-326-4585 or enviroservices@orillia.ca).

The city uses Cold Mix asphalt to treat potholes but one of the challenges this time of year is the melting snow and rain that washes the material away,  and the potholes have to be repatched.

Mitchell says there is a provincial requirement to fill potholes once the city is made aware of them.

In the same fashion as winter maintenance,  the amount of traffic travelling on the road will determine which potholes get dealt with first.

It can be same day service,  or a period of seven to as many as 30 to 60 days,  but the goal is to tackle the problem as soon as possible.

If a pothole causes damage to your vehicle,  Mitchell says an individual can make a claim and submit it in writing to the city or use a tool on the city's website to fill out a claim.

Mitchell says the city typically doesn't absorb vehicle damage caused by potholes as long as the provincial requirements to fix the problem are met.

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