Crews testing new, creative way to patch potholes

Crews stand near a newly patched pothole.
Our crews are mixing recycled asphalt with a solution called Road Soup to make a temporary pothole patch material. The material will be evaluated over the coming months to see if it’s a more cost-effective alternative.

We know potholes are frustrating, and we’re constantly looking for ways to reduce that frustration.

Our crews are out year-round patching problem areas to reduce the impact those pesky potholes have on Winnipeg drivers.

We typically use a temporary material called cold mix for cold weather repairs. This pebbly asphalt mix is a band aid solution that improves – but doesn’t fix – conditions until the weather warms up and we can use our more permanent hot mix.

Even as a temporary fix, the cold mix doesn’t last as long as we’d like.

“Every year potholes become a problem as soon as the freeze-thaw cycle hits,” said Michael Cantor, Manager of Streets Maintenance. “And every year it frustrates us that we can’t just patch a pothole once when it first appears.”

That could soon change.

Today, we started mixing up a trial brew of cold recycled asphalt and a proprietary tar called Road Soup.

“The hope is this mix provides permanent patching power so we can better address the pothole problem come next winter.”

Representatives from Road Soup are in town helping City crews mix a stockpile of the solution.

Crews will apply it as a supplement to our hot asphalt repairs this summer. They’ll then measure its effectiveness and longevity as we move into winter months and a new freeze-thaw cycle.

“Temporary patches are just that – temporary,” said Cantor. “We know the material we must apply in winter doesn’t always stand up and makes getting around harder for drivers and cyclists. This new product could potentially, down the line, reduce the need for multiple repairs of the same hole.”

If the material stands up, it would prove its viability as a permanent cold-weather pothole solution.

You can report potholes by contacting 311 or using this online form.

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