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Pothole repair during the winter months


Canadian winters create potholes through the regular freeze thaw cycle. As temperatures rise, the snow and ice melts and allows water to seep into small cracks in the asphalt. When temperatures drop again, the water then freezes and expands, which causes cracks in the asphalt to grow. This cycle and damage to roadways continues throughout the winter months.

The City of Saint John’s Winter Asphalt Maintenance Service provides emergency repair of street defects and potholes for roadway safety and winter driveability. Repair response is triggered by the City becoming aware of the pothole. Crews work hard to routinely monitor road conditions and ensure that hazards are attended to and repaired as quickly as reasonably possible.

As hot asphalt plants within New Brunswick are closed during the winter months, crews use cold-mix asphalt or recycled asphalt material.  This is not as durable as regular asphalt and is considered a temporary fix. City crews undertake an annual “pothole repair blitz” to provide a more permanent repair to potholes once the hot asphalt plants reopen for the season near the end of April or beginning of May.

Report a problem pothole:

Citizens are encouraged to report potholes to the City. By doing so, a work order is generated to trigger an inspection of the identified area of concern. Based on a number of factors, including available resources, damage that could occur, size, location, traffic volume and street, the pothole is then prioritized and appropriately addressed. The greater the hazard, the more of a priority a pothole becomes. Not all potholes need to be, or can be, filled right away. Some are addressed in other ways, such as with a pylon or barricade.

To report a pothole, contact Customer Service at 658-4455, emailing saintjohn.ca or completing a service request form on www.saintjohn.ca.

Pothole claims:

The City receives a number of pothole claims year round, including the winter months. Claims are investigated by the City’s Insurance and Claims Division to determine liability.  There is always some responsibility and expectation that motorists will take care when driving, not exceed posted speed limits and adjust driving according to road conditions.

For more information, visit:

Potholes 101
Winter Asphalt Maintenance (page 23 of Winter Management Plan)



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Corporate Communications
City of Saint John
11th floor, City Hall
(506) 649-6008