Pothole season arrives in Windsor, city says 'We are well aware it's bad out there'

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Pothole season arrives in Windsor, city says 'We are well aware it's bad out there'

Pothole season arrives in Windsor, city says 'We are well aware it's bad out there'

Warmer weather may be a respite from the harsh cold and snow Windsor has had, but it also brings potholes.

Since the start of the year, the city said 657 calls have come into 311 about pot holes. During the same time frame last year they had 218. Mark Winterton, the city's engineer, said they are actively working on the situation.

"We are well aware that it's bad out there, as unfortunately, the city of Windsor is one of the worst areas in the country, really North America, for freeze thaw cycles which is what wreaks havoc with the road," he said.

During the thaw there is a lot of movement on the pavement which makes potholes. There are at least five crews out working day and night to fill the holes with a cold mix.

Winterton said crews are focusing on main roads, arterials, collectors, truck routes and bus routes, but will make it out to residential roads.

Weekend weather calls for more rain which will make it more difficult to fix the roads, as the patching material used doesn't work as well in wet conditions.

"It is a challenge," Winterton said. "Certainly we are on patrol. We know where most of the bad areas are but if there's one that's particularly dangerous by all means call 311 and we'll address it."

He asks that drivers respect work crews and give them space to do the job safely. The city has about one million dollars to fix potholes, but Winterton said they will do what they have to do.

"Some years are worse than others, but we will be out there."

Keeping your car in one piece

Potholes can damage even the most experienced drivers' vehicles and it can be a big challenge for people who are just learning to drive.

Pami Pabla owns the Delta Driving School and is also an in-car instructor. She gives winter driving tips to students motoring through the city this time of year.

"Give more space. Don't drive too close to cars, and slow down a little bit earlier," she said.

Even thought students are with professionals it doesn't mean everything always goes smoothly. Wednesday a student driver hit a pothole on Highway 18 in Amherstburg.

"The road was so bad, there were so many potholes out there," Pabla said. " [The driver] avoided one, then he went to avoid the other one — there was a big pothole there and our car went into it and the tire got flat, rim got smashed up. I mean it's big damage."

The school is even avoiding streets downtown because there are just too many potholes to avoid. Pabla agrees with the city saying "roads are very bad these days."

She has tips for drivers who will be out on the city streets:

- Slow down if you see potholes

- Cover your breaks, but don't press your brakes 

- Breaking on a pothole can cause damage to your car and tires

- Give yourself more space between cars to be able to spot potholes

- If you can safely avoid potholes do so

- Be careful if it rains, you won't be able to tell how deep a pothole is

- Check that your the air in your tires are full