The Clear Cool Water sign along Mackenzie Avenue is poking fun at the annual problem of potholes. Manager Cathy Rosner said she saw the saying online and thought it was appropriate because it’s all everyone is talking about. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

EDITORIAL: Pothole season is upon us

City crews have and will be working on them around Williams Lake

Potholes are in full bloom on the streets of Williams Lake after that cold snap in January.

Drivers using Mackenzie Avenue these days may have noticed the latest sign for Cool Clear Water does poke fun at that fact.

‘There is a 4 bedroom 3 bath pothole on Main Street if anyone is looking,’ the sign says.

While Williams Lake doesn’t have a Main Street by name and certainly does not have potholes big enough for people to live in, we do have a problem every year with street conditions requiring the driving skills of Mario Andretti.

City director of municipal services, public works and operations Gary Muraca said at the end of January crews did some pothole repairs, mostly on Mackenzie Avenue.

Pothole repair was interrupted by snow last week and crews have been cleaning up the snow since, including currently working on the parking lanes downtown, he said Tuesday.

The crews who snow plow also do road maintenance.

Muraca said the plan is to be out repairing roads on Wednesday and continuing as the weather permits.

They will start on Mackenzie Avenue and after that begin working throughout the city area by area.

We asked Muraca how areas are chosen and he said they are highlighted through calls and inspections.

Then there are the roads that are traditionally bad at this time of year — Dog Creek Road and South Lakeside Drive, he said.

To tackle the potholes, road crews start the day at 6 a.m. to make asphalt in the recycler out of material salvaged most recently from the Lexington four-laning Highway 97 project.

By 8 a.m. crews will have four tonnes of asphalt to do potholes and skim patches.

Four tonnes last a crew of four the day.

Pothole repair this time of year is usually temporary with the water and freeze and thaw cycle.

Muraca said staff are focusing on giving the repairs the best chance of longer success by preparing the area as well as possible, which includes drying the surface, ensuring the tack coat is cured and sealing edges.

He commented they’ve seen some early success with this on the repairs they have made on Mackenzie.

“It’s not an exact science but, staff are trying different techniques to give the repairs a greater life span,” he added.

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