Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Freeze - thaw taking a toll on Montreal roads

Damaged SUV from debris under the Hymus overpass on Highway 40. (Photo Cogeco Nouvelles/Q92)
After starting January with the coldest air in decades, we have gone the other way with a prolonged January thaw. It remains above freezing this morning here on L'Ile Perrot at 2C (36F). It has been at or above freezing since the early hours of Saturday morning here in Montreal. We also have had some light rain overnight with about 3.2mm here in L'Ile Perrot. It will turn colder later today with the temperature falling below freezing to -9C tonight. Look for a few flurries Wednesday with a high back up to 0C .

The swing from sub zero readings to the current temperatures is putting stress on an already fragile road system. As we are already well aware of in Montreal and other portions of North America, our road system is aging. Add to that this brutal combination of extreme cold to heat, along with water and salt and well you get what happened yesterday on the Trans Canada Highway (Highway 40) in Montreal. Around 11:15am, not too far from where I work, and on an overpass I use everyday, a huge piece of concrete fell on the car you see above. Luckily the occupants escaped without injury, but such has not been the case in the past here in Quebec. Transport Quebec and the SQ shut the highway snarling traffic for nearly three hours. An overnight inspection has cleared the overpass/highway for use. Regardless of the cause, weather, poor concrete etc etc, the debate goes on, the warm weather will continue to foster potholes and broken concrete. The roller coaster winter will continue right into this weekend.

No comments: