With spring weather comes pothole season! I would like to take a moment to provide some information on what causes potholes and how they are managed by the City of Ottawa, courtesy of the City’s communications channels.
- The City of Ottawa fills around 250,000 potholes per year.
- Potholes are caused by the constant freeze-thaw cycle in winter and spring.
- On average, we experience around 68 freeze-thaw cycles per winter season.
- Potholes are formed when snow and ice melts and seeps into cracks in the surface of the road, combined with the vibration of traffic over the cracks.
- During peak pothole season in late winter and early spring, around 35 crews are out patching potholes each day.
- The City of Ottawa maintains 6,000 km of roadway – the equivalent of a two-lane road from Halifax to Vancouver.
- City staff proactively monitor the state of the roads to determine which areas need attention.
- Repairs are scheduled and carried out based on the severity of the pothole, traffic impact, and are based on a provincial minimum maintenance standard.
- Crews clear the pothole of water and debris, fill it with hot asphalt, and compact it to create a tight bond with the surrounding pavement.
- Patching potholes is a temporary fix designed to ensure the road is safe for cyclists and motorists until more permanent repairs can be done.
- The City regularly tests new approaches, technology and best practices to find the most effective way to deal with potholes in Ottawa.
If you see a pothole, please report it online at ottawa.ca or by calling 3-1-1.