Road crews are hard at work filling in potholes that keep popping up in the roads. According to David Ouellette, Director of Public Works for the City of Caribou, he and his crews have spent the last three weeks trying to fill them in.
"We've been probably three weeks that we've been out patching. Potholes have been terrible this year. A lot of water running down the streets, lot of freeze and thaw cycles….and because conditions of the roads were not great, it doesn't take much to form a new pothole," Ouellette said.
"We have been busy. There's potholes everywhere. It's an annual event. But there does seem to be more this year than in the past," Dana Fowler, Public Services Director for the city of Presque Isle, said.
Potholes aren't something that just form out of nowhere, they are actually caused by a freeze-thaw cycle.
"So a pothole is started by any kind of crack or hole in the surface so what happens…the water during the day melts, water runs into the holes, and freezes at night and when it freezes it pops the asphalt out, making the pothole," Ouellette said.
When the potholes do form, the road crews use a particular method to fix them.
"First we use brooms or leaf blowers, we try to blow the water out of the holes. Once the water's out, then we'll actually try to broom out any of the loose debris. Then we shovel the pothole full with hot mix. We're fortunate we have what's called a reclaimer for the wagon we use so we're putting in material that's about 300 degrees. We fill the hole and then we run the roller over the top of it," Ouellette said.
Fowler says that this time of year is too cold for the final fix, so he and his crews are working on getting temporary patches in place for the bad potholes, so that people don't damage their vehicles.
"so it's not ideal conditions, it's really too cold to do that. Sometimes the pothole have water in them, so the patch tends not to stay. So, a lot of times we have to go back and repatch the same holes a few days late," Fowler said.
Fowler adds that if roads are posted with weight limits, then heavy vehicles cannot go on them He says if you have a vehicle over the posted weight, and you do need to get onto those roads, you must contact the local public works department to get a permit.