It’s the time of the year when many local drivers find themselves dodging potholes.
Langley’s Sheila Fraser is one, who recently complained to the Township about the many holes on 62nd Avenue.
The holes have been patched, and the patches erode, creating the same potholes again, she said.
“There is nothing left to patch,” she said in an email to the Township.
It is not always safe to slalom down the street and, it is rude to drive on neighbour’s boulevards just to avoid your re-occurring potholes,” she wrote.
She said she’s replaced one tire rim and had her car re-aligned recently.
It’s not a great year for potholes in the roads of Langley Township, but it’s not nearly as bad as last winter.
Township operations manager Roeland Zwaag shared some statistics on the number of potholes repaired this season versus last.
In the 2016/17 winter season, with repeated snowfalls and extended periods of cold, Langley Township crews filled slightly fewer than 2,000 potholes, at a cost of about $100,000. There were 460 calls for service from the public for potholes over the winter.
“That was a big year,” said Zwaag. The Township went over its budget for snow plowing and de-icing.
This season, up to early Feburary, there have been a little more than 1,000 potholes filled, at a cost of $45,000 with 245 calls for service.
“Of course, winter isn’t over,” Zwaag added.
Bad winters typically lead to more potholes. But what makes a bad winter isn’t just below-zero temperatures.
“We’re seeing different kinds of potholes,” said Zwaag.
Last winter, there were “very large ones,” including some caused by frost heaving.
This year, there are smaller holes, including scaling, in which part of the sandwich of aspalt layer is broken away, but the road isn’t destroyed down to the gravel.
Langley Township roads operations manager Brian Edey pointed out that a freeze-thaw cycle is worse for roads than a period of extended cold.
“When it’s cold, nothing moves,” he said.
Frosty weather in late December and January was hard on the roads.
In much smaller Langley City, there have been far fewer calls for service, according to staff. In 2018 so far, there have been just 30 requests for a patch for a pothole.
Fraser said that as of this Thursday, the holes on her street hadn’t been fixed yet.