In an ambitious plan rolled out this week, the City of Kingston will seek to expand and combine all existing potholes into new, lower road surfaces using the tires and suspensions of local motorists.
“It’s a numbers game,” explained a traffic engineer. “We’ve got hundreds, maybe thousands of individuals holes in all the roadways. The time it would take to correctly excavate, compact, backfill, level, and re-pave them would be unbelievable, so we’re pursuing another avenue.”
However, this avenue already seems riddled with potholes of its own.
“It’s not easy, but for the long term it will mean less holes. The transition period will be the hard part, while we carve out these holes to take up the entire roadway space. There will be some adjustments necessary.”
The city has done their research on this method, with Queen street being used as a pilot project with moderate success. Pothole density and road surface corruption have had the added benefit of traffic calming as motorists are unwilling to drive any faster at the risk of damage to their vehicle.
“It’s basically killing two birds with one pothole,” the engineer joked. “We’re going to start rolling it out on some quieter residential streets to ensure it works, but there are some high-traffic areas that might jump the queue so that we can start seeing the benefits.”
Locals are resigned to the changes, but they hope that the new program will ease the difficulty.
“At least now I won’t have to swerve like a rally driver to avoid them,” said a local driver. “I might need some off-road shocks and tires, but at least I will be able to drive in a straight line.”
Expectations are that the potholes should be fully connected by late spring, in time for the main construction season to begin. Further connection and expansion will continue throughout the summer months and into the fall, where it is hoped that ice and snow will break up any remaining chunks and finish the job.