A pothole. (File)

Potholes a pain in the pocketbook for Cowichan drivers

Most winter fixes are temporary, Emcon says

With the freeze-thaw action and excessive moisture, it’s no surprise potholes have popped up, or rather, sunken, along many of the roads around the Cowichan Valley and beyond.

“The deep freeze followed by more seasonal temperatures and a healthy amount of precipitation has presented an exponential rise of potholes across Vancouver Island, including the Cowichan Valley,” said Andrew Gaetz, an operations manager for Emcon Services.

On Facebook, we asked you, our readers, if you’d seen any around and there were no shortage of responses.

“Have!?!” said E.J. Christiano. “They’re everywhere! It’s terrible this year!”

Hannah Draper agreed.

“Can we possibly list the places that don’t have massive craters?” she wondered. “The list would be reasonably shorter.”

Even so, others mentioned the ones bothering them most: around Crofton, Samantha Alexandra Joulie said Mount Sicker Road is a mess.

“They did crappy repair jobs last year that ended up being ripped up by the snow plow. The road was better before they ‘fixed’ it,” she said.

Emma MacMain added, “The Halalt reserve especially at the intersection.”

On the highway in the northbound lane near Koksilah Road, there’s a big one, too.

“The one in the slow lane going north just before Koksilah in front of the Cow Bay Fire Hall looks so big it could swallow a car,” confirmed Katelyn Brewer.

“Dodged that one by an inch I swear,” added Leah Day. “The stretch from Koksilah to Shawnigan Mill Bay Rd southbound is brutal pretty well the whole way.”

It only gets worse the further south you go, noted Caitlin Shaylene Murphy.

“They’re extremely bad going towards Victoria along the highway some of those potholes can take out a tire — very dangerous — and I see a lot of people trying to swerve and miss these potholes which can cause more hazards.”

Patricia Kane Attridge had nothing kind to say about the Trans-Canada Highway south of Duncan.

“The highway from Duncan to Mill Bay is crap. Had to dodge and weave to miss them,” she said. “If there was a cop behind me he would have pulled me over for drunk driving.”

Gaetz said that Emcon’s operation runs 24/7 during the winter months, but most winter repairs aren’t long-term solutions.

“As temperatures have been above freezing, our crews have been focused on patching the pavement deficiencies with cold mix asphalt and marking recurring severe potholes with cones and signage. These repairs are temporary until a permanent repair can be completed,” he said. “Asphalt plants are typically closed this time of year for annual maintenance so hot mix asphalt for permanent repairs can be hard to come by. That being said, we have been working closely with our asphalt suppliers, contractors, and MoTI to facilitate permanent repairs as soon as possible.”

cowichan valleyRoad conditions