Spring is here, and as the snow begins to melt and streets return to bare pavement, potholes are being exposed on roads across the City.
While City crews remain focused on widening streets, clearing snow, opening up sidewalks and exposing catch basins, there is also a requirement for potholes to be repaired. Crews have been logging and repairing potholes across the City as diligently as possible, when time, weather and resources allow. Close to 50 potholes have been repaired this year. Until the asphalt plants reopen in May, repairs are being made to problem potholes with both hot and cold mix asphalt.
“It’s been an exceptionally cold winter and, with the constant freeze and thaw cycle, our crews and motorists are starting to see more problem potholes,” said Kevin Rice, Deputy Commissioner of Transportation and Environment Services. "With the frost as deep as it is this year, we expect to see a number of potholes as the ground thaws. We remind motorists to help protect themselves, their vehicles and each other by reducing their speeds, avoiding potholes when and where possible, and reporting potholes to the City.”
Potholes are damage to asphalt street surfaces caused by fluctuating temperature. In a thaw, water seeps through pavement into its sub base and when the water freezes and becomes ice, it expands and the pavement above it (and the ground below it) flexes. As traffic drives over the pavement, as the water continues its freeze/thaw cycle, and as the pavement continues to flex, the breaking capacity of the pavement weakens. Eventually the pavement weakens to the point where it pops out of the street, exposing the damage to the sub base.
In addition to potholes, there are some utility cuts across the City that motorists should look out for. These cuts to the pavement are required to connect, repair or maintain underground water utilities. Like potholes, they are being maintained until they can be permanently paved with hot asphalt mix.
Reporting a pothole generates a work order for City crews to repair them according to service objective timelines. It also helps motorists to ensure the safety of City roads and minimize the damage that can occur to vehicles.
Motorists are encouraged to report potholes to the City by calling Customer Service at 658-4455, emailing email@example.com or completing a service request form. More information can be found on the City’s pothole webpage.