MTO to determine cause of deteriorating highway

SOUTH BAYMOUTH—The Ministy of Transportation (MTO) is investigating a large number of small potholes and rust staining on the asphalt surface of a good portion of Highway 6 from South Baymouth to the McLennan Bridge.

“We received calls from people expressing concerns with what is happening on the highway and we will be undertaking a review to see what is causing the roads to deteriorate,” said Gordon Rennie, regional issues officer for the MTO, northeastern region, last Friday.

“What it almost looks like is a miniature comet has hit the highway,” said Larry Killens, a South Baymouth resident. “These marks are getting bigger every day. I have been documenting and recording these marks all summer and into the fall on this portion of highway. This portion of highway was repaved and this work, as of this month, is one year old.”

“These marks start out about the size of a rubber eraser at the end of a lead pencil,” said Mr. Killens. “They are circular in the beginning and have the colour of rusty orange or brown and when the colour flows away from whatever is deteriorating it and making a hole in the road, it has the appearance of a comet having hit. After a period of time and the material that is oxidizing or rusting is gone and the rain-moisture washes away the running colour, a hole remains with no colouring around it.”

“My concern is that there are hundreds of these marks and hundreds of these holes starting all along this stretch of highway,” continued Mr. Killens. “Once water gets into these holes and it freezes the highway will start to break up very quickly. It suggests that this length of highway, newly paved, will be very expensive to the taxpayer to repave.”

“Paving on this section of Highway 6 was completed in 2011,” said Mr. Rennie. He explained in an email, “we inspected the pavement late last month (September 2012) as part of the project’s one-year warranty review and found some small potholes and rust staining on the asphalt surface. Our quality assurance and material experts are reviewing the matter to determine a possible cause and how best to make repairs. Responsibility for the cost of the repairs will depend on what caused the material failure.”

 Tom Sasvari