The talk of the town in Hope this week has been potholes.
With recent cold weather combined with snow, melting snow and rain, gaping holes appeared everywhere.
“This is the typical time of year with freeze/thaw, freeze/thaw, but it’s worse this year, and we’re using that temporary asphalt,” said Hope Mayor Peter Robb. “The asphalt plants don’t fire up until early spring, so you‘re using temporary patchwork out of a pail, which isn’t always best. But our staff is trying to get to them as quickly as possible and prioritize, and same with Emil Anderson out on the highway.”
Emil Anderson Maintenance takes care of Water Avenue in Hope and has been super busy patching up Highway 1 between Hope and Chilliwack.
“I counted 283 potholes (I wasn’t driving), on the way to Chilliwack this morning,” said Facebook poster Nadine Williams on Thursday, Jan. 13.
“I did the trip today and it was brutal,” another added.
But according to Stefan Brysch, Operations Manager for Emil Anderson Maintenance in the Fraser Valley, this year’s pothole situation on the freeway isn’t much different than any other year.
There is however a particularly sketchy stretch around Popkum/Bridal Falls.
“Work crews are currently patching potholes in several locations, and lanes between Bridal Falls and Anis Road have been closed for this purpose,” he said in an emailed response to the Hope Standard.
The eastern Fraser Valley dodged the worst of another atmospheric river event which could have made the situation worse. But conditions have still been cold and wet, taxing maintenance crews.
“Continued winter conditions are taking a toll on equipment and crews are tired,” Brysch acknowledged. “Emil Anderson Maintenance crews are working 24/7 at present, together with several subcontractor crews and staff. All in all, roughly 160 people.
Besides that, other contractors are doing infrastructure (power/phone lines, asphalt surface) repairs in the corridor.”
Robb said District of Hope staff are in regular contact with Emil Anderson Maintenance.