The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is taking advantage of unusually warm weather to tackle the annual spring problem of potholes. “Our winter equipment operators are still on hand and, as we don’t expect to be doing much plowing during the next few days, these crews can help us get a quick start on fixing potholes,” said Bill Estabrooks, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “Of course, we have 23,000 kilometres of roads so we can use all the help we can get.” Drivers can help, too, by driving with extra caution and by pointing out problem potholes. A toll-free number, 1-888-432-3233, will send calls to the nearest Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal base. This is the second consecutive year that the department has asked drivers to help locate potholes. “Nobody wants to hit a pothole,” said Mr. Estabrooks. “We can’t prevent them, but we have high standards in how we deal with them.” For 100 series highways and trunk roads, potholes deeper than 100 mm (4 inches) are marked with a sign as soon as staff becomes aware of them and repaired within seven days. For roads with lower traffic volumes, potholes must be signed within 24 hours and repaired within 21 days. Potholes that pose a significant and immediate danger are repaired as soon as department staff are aware of them. At this time of year, potholes are repaired with a temporary patch called cold mix. In the summer months, longer-lasting hot-mix asphalt is used, but it isn’t usually available until late May.