It's pothole season in Whitehorse, and this year it's a bad one

·2 min read
They appear every spring, but this year's potholes are offering a particularly bumpy ride to Whitehorse drivers. (Paul Tukker/CBC - image credit)
They appear every spring, but this year's potholes are offering a particularly bumpy ride to Whitehorse drivers. (Paul Tukker/CBC - image credit)

With spring weather finally arrived in Whitehorse, city drivers are feeling the potholes.

The small craters typically appear every spring, but after this winter's record snowfall City of Whitehorse crews are busier than ever filling them in.

"Water really isn't really our friend on the roadways, and especially when it sits there and is able to get into the roadway. And when it freezes, it really does that damage," said Richard Graham, the city's manager of operations.

Graham says crews are working early in the morning and late at night to fill in the holes, but during the day water from run-off washes the road mix away.

"The unfortunate part about everything being wet right now is, you have to wait until there is a dry period which right now is sort of in the middle of the night."

'Water really isn't really our friend on the roadways,' said Richard Graham, Whitehorse's manager of operations.
'Water really isn't really our friend on the roadways,' said Richard Graham, Whitehorse's manager of operations.(Kiyoshi Maguire/CBC)

One of the worst areas is at the crossing on the Two-Mile Hill intersection. At the top of intersection motorists are greeted by large potholes — leaving them jolted.

Potholes form when water seeps into the road and collects underneath the surface.

It freezes during the night and expands, cracking the pavement. With the help of vehicle tires, the pavement eventually breaks, leaving a pothole.

Graham says it's a perpetual battle right now, trying to fill potholes as quickly as they appear and seeing the patching material just get washed away.

Potholes form when water seeps into the road and collects underneath the surface.
Potholes form when water seeps into the road and collects underneath the surface.(Kiyoshi Maguire/CBC)

He says when the roads get dryer, a permanent fix will be used for most affected areas.

Graham says the city gets lots of complaints from drivers whose vehicles have suffered.

"What we hear the most is probably tires or rims, if it is a significant enough pothole," he said.

Graham says the roads will get fixed, but in the meantime it's Mother Nature's show until the roads dry.