Already under pressure over the aftermath of the big freeze, Northern Ireland’s ministers are gearing up for the next big problem — potholes.
With rain and rising temperatures clearing the snow and ice off even the most compacted roads, motorists are being advised the intense conditions will have eaten into many road surfaces.
The result is potholes and potentially expensive damage to cars, and increased risk of accidents where the holes remain unseen.
Department for Regional Development officials are inspecting a number of roads and have already started to arrange maintenance repairs.
Meanwhile, the public are being asked to report specific problems via the Roads Service website or local offices. But the cost is likely to further cut into already diminished departmental resources.
The bill for road repairs after the last harsh spell of winter weather back in January ran to an estimated £2m and UUP deputy leader John McCallister has labelled the problem a potential “nightmare”.
“There is no doubt that the Roads Service needs the resources to deal with this on an on-going basis,” he said. “That in itself is going to be a very big challenge over the next few months.”