The cars have not finished zigzagging

Quebec experts predict a terrible season for potholes due to ideal weather for the formation of holes on the road, which should multiply more this spring.

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” We have up and down with rain, snow and ice for four weeks. There are several episodes of freezing and thawing. It’s been a lot of trouble on the streets in 2022 and we should end up with a terrible season for potholes, ”says Nicolas Ryan, spokesperson for CAA-Quebec.

According to Mr. Ryan, Quebecers have therefore not finished zigzagging to avoid the holes that are being dug on the streets, roads and highways of the province.

“In 2020 and 2021, with the pandemic, there were fewer vehicles on the network to damage the roadway. At the moment, we see that road traffic has returned and that there are more cars. It is sure that it will further damage the roads, that too, ”warns the spokesperson for CAA-Quebec.

Big impact in Montreal

For his part, the spokesperson for the City of Montreal, Philippe Sabourin, also admits that there will be an increase in the number of potholes to be patched in 2022 compared to the last two years.

“We have already noted 10 cycles of freezing and thawing since the beginning of the year and much more quantity of rain. All of this explains why there will be many holes in the road this spring because the weather conditions are more virulent this winter,” confirms Mr. Sabourin.

According to Environment Canada, since the beginning of 2022, there have been twice as many rainy days compared to the average for the past 30 years.

“A pothole appears when water seeps into cracks in the asphalt,” recalls Philippe Sabourin. With freezing and thawing, it expands. This is what explains the presence of many holes in the road this winter. »

Millions in repairs

Every year, pothole repairs cost Montreal nearly $2.8 million.

In 2020, 120,000 holes were sealed in the metropolis. In 2021, however, that number has dropped to 60,000.

“It is not because the City of Montreal has worked less to repair them that the number has decreased. We had fewer potholes last year because the weather conditions were better. But right now, in 2022, we really have an atypical winter, ”notes the spokesperson for the City of Montreal Philippe Sabourin.

The Ministère des Transports (MTQ), for its part, indicates that it invests, on average, $9.7 million per year in repairing potholes.

“More than 300,000 potholes are repaired each year on the ministry’s network,” said spokesperson Gilles Payer.

A $2,700 hole in his budget

It was in one of these potholes at the corner of Berlioz and Wilson streets in Montreal that Fanny Hedin drove causing $2,700 in damage to her car this month.

Photo QMI Agency, Joêl Lemay

It was in one of these potholes at the corner of Berlioz and Wilson streets in Montreal that Fanny Hedin drove causing $2,700 in damage to her car this month.

A Quebecer says she is overwhelmed by the potholes in the metropolis and urges the City to remedy the problem, she who now has $ 2,700 in repairs on her car damaged by a hole.

Fanny Hedin, a resident of L’Île-des-Sœurs, in Montreal, deplores the City’s inaction. According to her, potholes next to her house started to form at an intersection in the summer of 2020. Two years later, they still hadn’t been fixed, she claims.

“I rode those holes this month. I smelled something burning and stopped. A tow truck came to pick up my car. There was smoke. And there, I have to change two tires, a pulley and the suspension for $2,700,” denounces Ms. Hedin.

Possible remedies

With her insurer, Fanny Hadin decided to send a claim to the City of Montreal in order to be compensated.

Nicolas Ryan, spokesperson for CAA-Quebec, reminds that citizens have 15 days to file a claim with a municipality following an accident related to a pothole.

“However, two elements must be respected. It’s difficult, but not impossible. First, it must be shown that the condition of the pavement has already been brought to the attention of the authorities. […] Second, it must be proven that the municipality in question was negligent in the means undertaken to correct the situation,” maintains Mr. Ryan.

CAA-Quebec also specifies that the burden of proof rests with the motorist.

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