How to Help the City of Thunder Bay Solve the Pothole Problem

The famous Thunder Bay Cone
The famous Thunder Bay Cone

THUNDER BAY – ROADS Update – While drivers navigate Thunder Bay roads and streets this spring, the challenge of pot holes is front and centre.

Norm Gale, the Thunder Bay City Manager tells NetNewsLedger, “The City manages liability via it’s road maintenance standards; albeit these standards don’t mention sinkholes specifically. Sinkholes are repaired on a priority basis, in accordance with the principles of the standards. Thus, there is no time standard for sinkholes”.

Though the very long spring the freeze-thaw cycle has really hit our roads hard. Around many of the storm sewer drains there have been sinkholes forming.

“While some may argue that this year’s weather shouldn’t be considered as a factor”, Gale continues, “In my view the extraordinary weather certainly is a factor, and this weather should not be dismissed cavalierly. Demand has exploded since just last year, for example, service calls for frozen catch basins / culverts has more than doubled, and we scarcely saw road flooding last year”.

“Finally, the City does not always have the ability to address these issues immediately, especially this year what with the extraordinary demand, so making the public aware of the hazard with barricades or traffic cones is appropriate until the repair can be made”.

Residents are encouraged to Report a Pothole. This can be done online, and each report generates a work order.

Does it work?

Honestly, yes. NetNewsLedger reported what was a concern over a number of potholes and sinkholes and the results are that the city moves toward either safely marking them better, or repairing them.

Road Standards


1.1             The objectives for maintaining ASPHALT SURFACES are:

1.1.1     To provide a reasonably smooth, travelling surface.

1.1.2     To reduce hazards to traffic complying with the rules of the road.

1.1.3     To protect the municipal investment in the Roadway surface.


2.1       ASPHALT SURFACES shall be addressed in accordance with the following:

2.2       Priority for repair work carried out on Asphalt Surfaces will be in the order as follows;

2.2.1                 Arterial Roadways

2.2.2                 Collector Roadways

2.2.3                 Local Roadways

2.3       Cracks in the paved Asphalt Surface of a Roadway, which are for a continuous distance of three (3) metres or more and greater than both the width of  2.5 cm  and depth of 5 cm, shall be addressed as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the fact.

Thunder Bay is continuing to clean up the gravel and sand from city streets with street sweepers out from early in the morning.

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