Hampton-area drivers dodge dozens of potholes a month after road paved

Hampton-area drivers dodge dozens of potholes a month after road paved

For residents of Pickwauket Road, seeing a paving crew show up in their Hampton area neighbourhood this fall was pretty exciting.

Mark Blackier, who has lived there for almost two decades, said the road hasn't been paved in 18 years and wasn't in great shape. Pickwauket Road, also known as Route 845, runs from Hampton to the Kingston Peninsula and it's quite heavily travelled.

"I'm thinking, this is great, we're going to have, finally,  something that I don't have to worry about my vehicles," Blackier said.

But those positive thoughts quickly turned to concern as the chip-sealing work progressed. Now Blackier has more worries about the road he drives on every day.

Graham Thompson/CBC

"You could see the machine wasn't working properly, it was operating and it was leaving heaves as it was doing it," he said. 

"I know they're meant to leave a little bit of gravel on top to pound down, but they were leaving about eight inches, so it was a skating rink, driving on marbles for almost a month."

Blackier said it soon became apparent the extra gravel was the least of the problems.

"There was potholes forming while they were actually doing the project," he said, "We knew there were going to be problems, and now we've got potholes almost six to eight inches deep, up to my ankle. 

"The potholes were forming as they were doing it, and they were just putting more gravel onto it and calling it a day." 

Graham Thompson/CBC

The work was completed on Oct. 24, according to a Department of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson. A month later, there are dozens of potholes of all shapes and sizes on the four or five-kilometre stretch of newly chip-sealed road.

The road also doesn't appear to have much gravel on it anymore.

The stretch is now marked with a "broken pavement" sign.  

Blackier said the road has become a bigger safety hazard than it was before the paving.

"My best friend up the street, with the potholes he's already dented one rim," he said, "I'm scared to death within the next kilometre to Hampton, I'm scared to death. I have to drive on the other side of the road just to get to my home."

Graham Thompson/CBC

A request to the Transportation Department for an interview was not granted. But DTI spokesperson Jeremy Trevors said in an email that the work was done by a private company.

Trevors said the contract is under warranty and "it's important to note, a planned second seal will be applied to Route 845 during the 2020 construction season."

Trevors also said the potholes would be repaired this week, weather permitting.

Graham Thompson/CBC

For Blackier, that's not good enough.  

"It has to be redone, the whole four-kilometre stretch." he said

"It's been poorly done. The tar, I don't know the procedure, but I've been told it leached down through into the road, and it didn't hold the gravel."