It’s time for the first pothole blitz of the year. Crews will mobilize this Saturday, February 23 to repair as many potholes as possible on Toronto’s streets. It’s expected this will be the first of several weekend pothole repair blitzes from now into April.
Over the past month, we’ve experienced extreme cold followed by sudden thawing periods. These swings in temperature have dramatic impacts on our roads. This weekend’s weather forecast represents the first opportunity for crews to effectively repair the potholes that have emerged on our roadways. It is our objective to reduce property damage and eliminate injuries by filling potholes as quickly and efficiently as possible.
There have been numerous freeze-thaw cycles over the past few weeks that have resulted in an increased number of potholes. City crews have already repaired more than 13,000 potholes in 2019. Crews can repair up to 4,000 potholes in a single day blitz.
On a typical day, 25 crews are out repairing potholes. During the blitz, there will be as many as 50 crews working up to a 12-hour day to fill potholes across the city, including parts of the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway. Motorists are advised to expect minor delays. The public is asked to be safe by respecting work zones and giving crews space while they work.
A few recent examples of how the City manages our road surface:
- Re-decking of part of the elevated portion of the Gardiner Expressway in fall 2018. It was the first time the City had closed the Gardiner for an entire weekend since 2016. Watch the video here https://youtu.be/sNBh4OREc8Q
- daily repair and maintenance as well as pothole blitzes each year as required.
- investment in new asphalt equipment to repair potholes (e.g. 18 new asphalt ‘hotboxes’ were purchased for this season)
- on-going reviews of materials used to fill potholes
- annual local and major road resurfacing projects as part of the City’s road maintenance and resurfacing program
- on-going review of the City’s approach to potholes and allocated resources (including maintenance and claims)
Potholes are created when water penetrates the top layer of asphalt through cracks in the road. When the moisture freezes and expands, sections of the pavement are forced up. The weight of vehicles going over this section of road breaks the pavement and the asphalt is forced out.
The City has a comprehensive road maintenance program and has budgeted approximately $182 million in 2019 for road repairs, rehabilitation and maintenance work, including between $4 and $5 million to fix potholes. Each pothole costs about $25 to repair. Since 2015, the City has repaired an average of 224,440 potholes annually.
Road users and business owners can help by reporting potholes when they see them.
Potholes can usually be repaired within four days, but when there are large numbers of potholes to be repaired, they are triaged based on size, and repairs are prioritized on major roads first.