Super Pothole Blitz Planned in Toronto for Super Bowl Weekend

Potholes form and bust up our roads. Here is one where the manhole is too high to drain.
Potholes form and bust up our roads. Here is one where the manhole is too high to drain.

TORONTO – There’s another kind of blitz happening this Super Bowl weekend in Toronto – a pothole blitz. Crews will mobilize on Saturday, February 1 to repair as many potholes as possible on Toronto’s expressways, major roads, and neighbourhood streets. This marks the first pothole repair blitz of 2020.

Mayor John Tory says, “This is a much-needed pothole repair blitz. I want to thank City staff for making the right call to get work done this weekend during this period of dry weather between snowfalls. These repairs will make our roads safer for all those who drive and cycle on our streets so please be respectful of the crews as you encounter them on our roads.”

On a typical day, 25 crews are out repairing potholes. During the blitz, as many as 60 crews will work all day to fill potholes across the city. Crews will begin on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway early Saturday morning, to take advantage of lower traffic volumes, before moving to other city streets.

People who drive and bike are advised to expect minor delays. The public is asked to be safe by respecting work zones and giving crews space while they make repairs.

Pothole repair blitz crews are made up of the same City staff who handle road maintenance, snow clearing, street sweeping and other maintenance work.

Numerous freeze-thaw cycles over the past few weeks have resulted in an increased number of potholes. City crews have already repaired more than 15,500 potholes this year. City staff annually repair more than 200,000 potholes on average in Toronto.

A few recent examples of how the City manages road surfaces include:

  • Planned maintenance closures of the Gardiner Expressway and DVP
  • proactive daily repair and maintenance of potholes by patrolling crews, as well as response to 311 service requests from the public
  • pothole repair blitzes, as required
  • investment in new asphalt equipment to repair potholes, such as the introduction of 18 new asphalt hotboxes in 2019
  • annual local and major road resurfacing projects, as part of the City’s road maintenance and resurfacing program
  • ongoing 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 the road breaks the pavement and the asphalt is forced out.

The City budgets between $4 million and $5 million annually to fix potholes. Each pothole costs about $25 to repair.

Learn more about how Toronto manages potholes or report one that needs to be repaired at http://www.toronto.ca/potholes. The public can also report potholes by calling 311 or by using the 311 app available online.

Potholes can usually be repaired within four days. When there are large numbers of potholes to be repaired, they are triaged based on size, and repairs are prioritized on major roads first.