The city expends considerable effort to keep the roads in the best possible condition. Every year, a budget of $200,000 is dedicated to asphalting work across the road network. Despite these efforts, there may be more potholes than usual at certain times of the year.
When the warm weather returns, the city carries out a “pothole operation” to maintain the roads and repair holes caused by the freeze-thaw cycle that puts a strain on our road infrastructures every spring. For the sake of efficiency, the operation is carried out by sector.
Although the city assigns more workers to the task during periods when many potholes are appearing, the teams work all year round to keep the road in good shape.
To help us maintain the roads, you can report a pothole anywhere in the territory at any time of year.
To help us find the place that needs repair, please give us a detailed description of its location and a few details, such as the diameter and depth of the hole. You can also send us a photo.
Please note that response time varies, based on several criteria, such as type of street, size and location of hole and weather conditions.
Answers to your questions
A pothole is a depression in the road that forms when the asphalt crumbles and the fill is dispersed. Potholes often appear in spring, because the freeze-thaw cycle exacerbates the process.
In winter, when the temperature rises above zero, water gets into the cracks on the surface of the pavement. When temperatures drop again, the water turns into ice and pushes the pavement up. When temperatures rise again, the ice melts and the water drains away, leaving an empty space under the pavement. Repeated freezes and thaws, combined with the weight of vehicles, further weakens the pavement until a hole develops.
There can be many reasons for such an increase:
- Wide swings in temperature over a short period
- Profound cold
- Lots of precipitation (snow and rain)
- The use of salt, which lowers the temperature at which water freezes and increases water infiltration
- The use of snow graders, ploughs and loaders during the spring can reopen repaired potholes.
Sealing cracks is one preventive maintenance technique. This slows the degradation by preventing water infiltration.
Cracks are cleaned and dried using compressed air. The crack is then sealed with a hot sealant. Then anti-adhesive paper is applied to quickly allow traffic to resume.
All year long, teams scour the 530 km of public roads to provide preventive pothole repair and respond to requests from the public.
Different kinds of materials and methods are used, depending on the work to be done, the weather conditions and the season.
- Cold asphalt:Used in winter, at –10°C or below.
- Warm asphalt: Used at over –10°C.
- Hot asphalt:When conditions allow, hot asphalt is the preferred method. These repairs generally last longer.
The teams work all year to repair the roads. The city considerably increases the number of workers assigned to this task in the spring, during freeze-thaw periods, when more potholes appear.
Potholes deemed dangerous are repaired urgently, within 72 hours of being reported. Potholes are repaired based on the priority of the road: main arteries, secondary roads and local streets.
Prevention and claims information
- Do not brake in a pothole
A blocked wheel will always be more damaged than a moving wheel. If you cannot avoid a hole in the road, it is best to take your foot off the brake pedal before the impact.
- Tires should be suitably filled to reduce the risk of damage.
An overfilled tire is more likely to have its structure damaged, while a soft tire may result in a bent or broken wheel.
- Oh no, you hit a pothole!
You should check the alignment of your wheels, because if they are unbalanced, the tires will wear quickly and prematurely.
- Do not brake in a pothole
Drivers who wish to report damage to their vehicle can file a claim within 15 days of the event. An investigation will be carried out to determine the responsibility of the municipality. Under the Cities and Towns Act, however, the city is exempt from liability for damage to tires and vehicle suspension systems resulting from road conditions.