Why potholes appear when it rains - and Joburg's repair score card

07 March 2019 - 08:25 By timeslive
Pothole repairs are in hand this rainy season, according to Johannesburg authorities.
Pothole repairs are in hand this rainy season, according to Johannesburg authorities.
Image: City of Johannesburg

Waterlogging of roads is a global problem during rainy weather, but the City of Johannesburg says it is determinedly patching potholes.

Mayor Herman Mashaba explained why the weather was a factor on the road.

“Rainy season in Johannesburg is beginning to wind up. However, the heavy rainfall we’ve experienced has wreaked havoc on our roads.

“Usually, cracks are formed because of the regular, and notorious traffic in our city, which means that when the rainy summer months come around, rainwater seeps into the asphalt and the underlying layer, and causes the cracks to widen, which causes further damage,” said Mashaba.

Consequently, the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), which is the custodian of the road network in the city, typically receives higher numbers of reports of potholes from residents around this time of year.

“This has been the case again since the turn of the new year,” said Mashaba.

In February, the JRA repaired 3,045 potholes across the city, according to the mayor’s statement.

Mashaba said the city was also piloting new technology to improve turnaround time in effecting repairs. The JRA has been testing a system called the Jetpatcher road rehabilitation solution. Last month, the system was used to repair 2,700 potholes – patches and potholes of one square metre and potholes of less than 0.5 square metres – averaging just under 200 potholes per day.

In addition, Mashaba said the city was attempting to tackle what he referred to as a “mammoth backlog” in storm water drainage.