Q&A - Ruts in the Pavement

Q&A ImageI commute on hwy 19 daily. The road has been maintained with tar strips rather than resurfacing. In the wet weather what Im seeing is the ruts (worn into the driven part) in the right lane are holding up to 20mm of standing water sometimes for hundreds of meters at a time. Pulling into the left lane provides a safer drive even at 30km below the posted limit.




This was the word I used as a collision investigator to describe ruts in the pavement caused by the passage, over time, of heavy vehicles. These ruts can be quite deep as you describe and the presence of standing water can be a significant hazard for hydroplaning. It is often not necessary to drive in the left lane, simply moving a small distance to the right or left in the right lane will move your tires out of the ruts and out of the water. Of course, your solution of moving into the less traveled left lane requires less attention to lane position.

The BCGEU published a video a few years ago about BC highway maintenance standards. The video does not talk about channelization but does address other common highway defects and conditions. A link with the video lists contact information for the road maintenance contractors in each area of our province.

It is easy to identify a highway problem these days. In addition to the road maintenance contractors, one can Tweet to TranBC. E-mail is also available: Minister of Transporation, Deputy Minister of Transporation or General Inquiries. There's even a special form for the reports.

The tar stips that you mention are put there to seal the pavement surface to keep water out rather than to repair the ruts. Once water enters the cracks that open in the pavement surface, freeze / thaw cycles can quickly break up the pavement even further. Hot tar or other compounds can seal these cracks effectively and keep the water away from the roadbed.

The only effective repair for these ruts are to repave the highway as far as I am aware.


Agreed. Repaving is the

Agreed. Repaving is the answer not only to tar strips but channelization. It does seem that the powers that be are taking the low hanging fruit.

Google Ads