Niagara Gazette

Local News

July 14, 2014

City repair crews battle back to repave streets devastated by wicked winter

Repair crews battle back to repave city streets devastated by wicked winter

Niagara Gazette — Looking back on this past winter, Niagara Falls Public Works Director Dave Kinney can’t remember a worse time for his crews.

“Oh it was a brutal winter. It was probably one of the worst winters in my career,” he said 

And that, the streets chief said, took a terrible toll on the Cataract City’s roads.

“What it did was literally tear up the streets,” he said. “The pot holes we had (after the winter), they were huge.”

A combination of near record snow fall, that made it impossible for the city to do temporary patching and continued freeze and thaw cycles that lasted through April left city streets looking like mine fields.

When the weather finally improved, Kinney said his streets crews faced a daunting task. They started with temporary measures.

“We started with cold patch to fill in some of the holes,” he said, noting that crater-sized pot holes on New Road, where city streets crews are based, were so bad it was hard to get equipment out.

After the success in 2013 of using four so-called “pot hole killer” machines to repair the winter’s work, DPW upped the ante this year and brought in five of them.

“They worked great again,” Kinney said. “They filled the pot holes well and the patch was sticking.”

The only down side to the pot hole killers was they rode right over the cold patch-filled holes. And heavy spring and early summer rains are hitting the cold patch hard.

“We seeing some pot holes returning,” Kinney said, “because the rain is breaking down the cold patch.”

Still the DPW chief says the majority of the patching work, in every part of the city, has improved the roads dramatically.

“We have done a lot of patching and we are all over the city patching,” Kinney said.

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