Slices of concrete ripped off road tear dozens of tires on Highway 8

Ottawa-Gatineau traffic updates for July 20

Scraps of tires spotted a highway north of Winnipeg this weekend as more than a dozen vehicles were hacked by a road under construction. 

Tow truck driver Omaid Amiri has never seen anything like the damage caused by Highway 8 around McPhillips Road, near St. Andrews Airport.

As many as 16 vehicles were mangled by the giant potholes on Saturday, he said. Each vehicle lost as many as three tires. 

"No one was happy," Amiri told CBC Manitoba's Radio Noon on Tuesday. "I'd seen more than 20 people when I was there. I feel sorry for them."

Sections of concrete were peeled away like a bad scab, he said. Gravel filled the gap in the asphalt but not completely, resulting in sharp drops that spelled doom to tires. 

Amiri said the speed limit fluctuated through the several-kilometre span, but he believes signs were not posted in advance enough to caution drivers to slow down.

Martin Fingold said it felt like the road surface unexpectedly changed underneath his vehicle.

"My rear-view mirror, I could see some things flying off, which obviously was pieces of rubber from my right rear tire."

He immediately pulled over to the shoulder, and the driver trailing him did the same. He must have smelled the burning of rubber, Fingold said.

"It could have been a very dangerous scenario if I hadn't pulled off, because if the tire shreds totally, then the car goes out of control and you can end off in a ditch."

He lost two tires from the rocky drive.

Potholes paved

Maple Leaf Construction, the company doing the work, said it is working to rectify the reported issues. The potholes in the highway had been paved over when it was checked by CBC News on Tuesday.

A company spokesperson said they're working with Manitoba Infrastructure to find a safer way to remove pieces of asphalt. Decisions about highway speed are a provincial responsibility, she said.

A spokesperson for the province told CBC News the province is aware of the situation and is looking into it.