SINGAPORE: About 95 per cent of potholes have been repaired as of Jan 31, even as the Land Transport Authority (LTA) identified 2,570 potholes in January this year, the highest in a single month.
January was an “exceptionally” wet month, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor in Parliament on Monday (Feb 1), noting that the number of potholes recorded in the month was “more than double” the number identified in a typical wet season month.
“Wet weather conditions exacerbate wear and tear on our road infrastructure. More potholes appear on our roads during periods of heavy sustained rainfall, due to the continuous seepage of water into the road pavement,” she said.
Last month, CNA reported that more potholes had started to appear on Singapore’s roads due to wet weather. LTA had attributed the spike in the number of potholes to “prolonged wet weather”.
LTA conducts frequent inspections of over 9,000 lane-kilometres of road to check for road defects, including potholes, said Dr Khor on Monday, with expressways inspected weekly, major roads fortnightly and all other roads once every two months.
It also conducts follow up investigations on feedback received from the public.
LTA will try to repair identified potholes within 24 hours, she said, adding that the authority tripled its manpower for road repairs in January.
“Unfortunately, heavy rain hampers pothole patching works because the road surface needs to be dry in order for patching materials to bond properly,” she said.
In addition, LTA conducts quarterly inspections of about 200 slopes located near roads to look out for "anomalies", said Dr Khor. During rainy seasons, the authority will step up inspections for steeper slopes to weekly inspections, as they have a “higher risk” of soil erosion.
She noted two instances of soil erosion at two different sections of the slope surface along the slip road from TPE(PIE) to Loyang Avenue and Tampines Avenue 7, even though the slope had been lined with a protective covering.
In both incidents, LTA “promptly” closed off the slip road and redirected traffic from the area. Both surfaces have since been repaired.
“When such incidents happen, be it potholes or soil erosion, our priority is rapid response to minimise risks to safety,” said Dr Khor.
LTA also takes preventive measures such as resurfacing roads to make them more durable, said Dr Khor, adding that this is done in a “targeted” way to minimise disruptions for motorists.
If pre-emptive measures are needed for slopes, LTA will line them with protective covering to prevent rainwater from seeping into the soil or reinforce the slopes with retaining walls to improve stability.
“Motorists who have sustained vehicle damages or injuries generally seek recourse from their insurance provider,” she said.
They can report any defects through the LTA website, the Snap & Send function on the MyTransport.SG mobile application, or the Municipal Services Office’s OneService application, she added.