A while ago I was driving to Carmichael Arena and came across a contractor who was doing patching of potholes with a hot mix asphalt compound.
I noted that the surface was dry, and I'm positive that those holes will have better success at staying repaired for a much longer period of time.
I also noted that later, on The Kingsway, the same situation applied to another contractor who was also patching with a hot mix composite. That does not mean that other holes would not develop and that he would get all the affected areas done, but I'm willing to wager that those being done would last much longer than those having been done with the Band aid cold mix solution thrown into a water filled pothole.
The irony of the whole situation, however, is that prior to witnessing these two activities, I had noticed another contractor patching holes on Ramsey Lake Road at the university entrance. In this case, the area being addressed had the same wet conditions as it had a short time before and before that also.
I rolled down my window and asked if it was cold mix or hot mix asphalt being applied, and the gentleman politely replied it was cold mix. I sighed and said "Well, I guess we'll see you here again soon. Have a great day."
Trust me those holes are reappearing.
I really feel sorry for those individuals who, no doubt, receive the wrath of many driving on our dilapidated roads. I hope that people understand that those workers are doing the best they can with the resources they are given and told to work with.
It really is disheartening to watch such dispensing of expensive resources and not obtaining reasonable results.
Sadly, this also amounts to one inevitable conclusion and that is no matter how much money is put towards road rehabilitation, if it is not done right, we will never obtain satisfying results. There are many examples of this and it really is disheartening.
Just think about this: When you buy a new car and you want it to last, you don’t wait for the valves to start clacking before changing the oil as it is too late, and when you do change that oil, you make sure the oil plug and the filter don't leak. That is being vigilant.
The same applies for all our assets, be it roads, sidewalks, catch basins, arenas, parks, libraries or anything else.
Please bring back vigilance and adequate — not minimal — maintenance for our infrastructure. Waiting for things to deteriorate to a minimal standard of acceptance can only be more expensive and frustrating in the long run.
I honestly believe that we know better and we can do better.