Record 2,570 potholes identified on Singapore roads in January

Photographs of potholes at various locations around Singapore posted on social media, including one that shows a full-sized umbrella in one large pothole. — TODAY pic
Photographs of potholes at various locations around Singapore posted on social media, including one that shows a full-sized umbrella in one large pothole. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, Feb 1 — The prolonged heavy rain last month resulted in a record 2,570 potholes on Singapore’s roads, Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor told Parliament today.

This is the highest number of potholes recorded in a month and was more than double the number recorded in a typical month during the rainy season, she added.

In the past month or so, some road users have complained on social media that the potholes, depressions on the road surface that form when rainwater seeps into cracks, are putting the safety of road users at risk.

One user said that her car had been damaged and was left “undriveable”.

As of yesterday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has repaired about 95 per cent of the potholes identified, especially the more serious ones, Dr Khor said.

Given the exceptionally heavy rainfall last month, LTA had tripled the number of crew deployed for road repairs.

“When a pothole is identified, LTA typically tries to repair it within 24 hours,” said Dr Khor.

“Unfortunately, heavy rain hampers pothole-patching works because the road surface needs to be dry in order for patching materials to bond properly.”

Dr Khor was responding to questions in Parliament about the potholes forming on roads as well as how the Ministry of Transport plans to prevent other rain-induced problems such as landslips, the movement of soil and rocks down a slope.

The torrential rain last month had caused landslips in several parts of the island, including two that occurred near the Tampines Expressway towards Loyang Avenue.

The two incidents occurred along the slope about a week apart early last month, despite the slope having been lined with a protective covering.

In both incidents, the slip road was closed quickly as a precaution and traffic redirected from the area.

Dr Khor said: “Other than these two episodes, LTA has not detected other incidents of soil erosion along slopes near roads in the past year.”

The two sites have since been lined with concrete to prevent further landslips and LTA will monitor the slope as a precaution.

Dr Khor said that LTA inspects expressways for road defects every week, major roads every fortnight, and all other roads every eight weeks.

It also inspects about 200 slopes near roads for anomalies every three months. During rainy seasons, it inspects steeper slopes every week for signs of soil erosion.

The agency also takes preventive measures, such as resurfacing roads, but does this in a “targeted way” because such work can be costly and disruptive to motorists, Dr Khor said.

Motorists who have been injured or had their vehicles damaged can generally seek recourse from their insurance providers, she said.

She urged motorists to watch for potholes and report road defects through LTA’s website, the MyTransport.SG mobile application or the Municipal Services Office’s OneService app. — TODAY

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