Further understanding the impact of the spring melt on our infrastructures

Friday, March 22 2019

Glace sur un sapin

Particularly harsh weather conditions in Quebec can have a significant impact on our infrastructures.

The spring melt, a critical period

In winter, the soil freezes for over four months. This phenomenon, along with temperature extremes and humidity, has a major impact on our infrastructures.

In the spring, accumulating water weakens the layers of materials used to make our parking lots and terminals. It is at this time that potholes can form.

How do potholes form?

  1. Cracks appear in the roadway when the spring melt begins;
  2. Cracks worsen as a result of vehicle traffic;
  3. The infiltration of water and brine contributes to reducing the bearing capacity of the foundation and accelerates the degradation process;
  4. Freeze-thaw cycles accelerate this degradation and potholes are likely to form.

Visual explanation of the effects of thawing

Source: Transports Québec

What are we doing to maintain our facilities?

As a preventive measure, maintenance is completed throughout the year at each of our sites.

In addition, site inspection staff keep a close eye on the arrival of warmer weather so that we can respond quickly if necessary. For example, when a crack is detected in a roadway, our teams make sure to respond within five working days to prevent potholes from forming.

The drainage basins on our sites must be regularly cleared of ice and snow to prevent any ice from forming.

In unpaved parking lots, our teams work to fill the holes caused by thawing in an effort to prevent water from accumulating and causing any inconveniences for our customers.

Good to know

Our Customer Service department records all feedback from our customers and forwards comments to relevant department heads where appropriate. If you notice a problem (such as a crack, pothole, or a large accumulation of water) on one of our sites, we encourage you to let us know where the problem is located and, if possible, to send a photo: contact us.

Want to learn more about the actions that exo takes in the winter? Check out the news regarding our winter plan.