iN PHOTOS: Recent freeze-thaw brings the potholes out in January | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN PHOTOS: Recent freeze-thaw brings the potholes out in January

Potholes have emerged along Highway 97 between Peachland and Summerland.

After the Okanagan went through a harsh cold spell, the thawing temperatures that arrived this week are leaving the roads with more potholes than usual.

“There does seem to be more (potholes),” said Kevin McDonnell, contract manager with AIM Roads – the company responsible for highway maintenance in the South Okanagan.

McDonnell regularly drives from the South Okanagan to Vernon. He said Highway 97 was in good shape for the first half of the week, but last night, Jan. 12, the potholes were “brutal.”

He suspects the intensity of the recent cold spell may be leading to worse potholes this winter.

READ MORE: It's spring and that means potholes: What you can do about them

Geert Bos, public works manager for the City of Kelowna, said this week’s thaw “absolutely” led to more potholes than a typical warm winter week.

“We’ve got the patching crews out and they’re doing it on a daily basis, weather permitting, from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.,” he said.

“If folks come across potholes, submit a service request.”

In Penticton, public works manager Len Robson said there haven't been many calls coming in from the public regarding potholes, but this week's thawing conditions are creating them. 

"It is that time of year," he said. "Our crews have been out today filling potholes that we we're aware of."

Messages left with the City of Vernon and City of Kamloops were not immediately returned.

READ MORE: From snow and ice to potholes in Kelowna

Krishna Lakkineni regularly takes Highway 3 to reach Vancouver from Kamloops while Highway 5 is closed to non-essential traffic and wants to warn other drivers about the potholes on that road.

“Where the roads are marked to slow down to 60 kilometres per hour there are at least 10 to 15 potholes in one section alone,” Lakkineni said in an email.

“There are at least four sections like this between Princeton and Hope. I even saw some tires were taken out.”

But any extra damage being caused by this year’s potholes hasn't been getting noticed at local auto repair shops.

Another pothole on Highway 97 north of Summerland.
Another pothole on Highway 97 north of Summerland.

Dan Snodgrass of Dan's Tire Service in Kelowna said he repaired a tire yesterday that was blown after running over a pothole on Westside Road in West Kelowna.

“Didn’t wreck his vehicle, thank god,” he said.

But despite that one job, there has not been a spike in pothole-related repairs at Snodgrass’s shop. 

“Not yet anyway.”

A pickup truck is seen deking out a pothole on Highway 97.
A pickup truck is seen deking out a pothole on Highway 97.

At OK Tire in Penticton, owner Justin Kinvig said drivers regularly come in with popped tires and bent rims caused by potholes, but no more than normal this week.

“I haven’t noticed an uptick,” he said.

On Twitter Jan. 9, Drive B.C. posted that it “really dislikes potholes that suddenly appear and disables vehicles,” and shared a link to help travellers get potholes filled in.




To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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