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How the warm weather is affecting pothole season in Waterloo Region

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Waterloo Region’s roads have benefited from the relatively warm winter weather.

Scott Berry, the manager of maintenance for the City of Kitchener, calls it a “mild” pothole season.

“A typical winter would see cold temperatures and frost remaining in the ground right through the end of February and sometimes even into March,” he said. “This year we saw a thaw and it kind of stayed warm through all of February, so the pothole season has been spread out over a longer period of time, giving municipalities a chance to maintain the roads.”

In Cambridge, city staff say their list of potholes to fix is about average for this time of year.

“The roads are in typical condition for this time of year,” Dave Lukezich, the manager of roadways in Cambridge, said. “Cold nights and warm days cause potholes to appear in our roadways.”

Lukezich explained that potholes are formed when cracks form in worn down streets.

“Water will make its way into those cracks and freeze – potentially at night – and when it does that, it expands,” he said, adding as more vehicles drive over those cracks, the worse the potholes get.

Staff prioritize fixing busier streets before residential roads.

Potholes are also identified by city staff, or by residents who report them.  

“We have staff out there patrolling roads,” Lukezich said. “Those staff identify potholes and we have crews that are out there fixing those potholes as soon as possible.”

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