Toronto launches first pothole repair blitz of the year

It’s time for the first pothole blitz of the year. Crews will mobilize this Saturday, February 23 to repair as many potholes as possible on Toronto’s streets. It’s expected this will be the first of several weekend pothole repair blitzes from now into April.

“Potholes are not only a nuisance for motorists and cyclists but they can also be dangerous. This weekend will be the first of several blitzes to come. Our crews will put in long hours, starting very early Saturday morning, to improve our roads and help residents and visitors stay safe and avoid the hassles of a damaged vehicle or bicycle,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

There have been numerous freeze-thaw cycles over the past few weeks that have resulted in an increased number of potholes. City crews have already repaired more than 13,000 potholes in 2019. Crews can repair up to 4,000 potholes in a single day blitz.

On a typical day, 25 crews are out repairing potholes. During the blitz, there will be as many as 50 crews working up to a 12-hour day to fill potholes across the city, including parts of the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway. Motorists are advised to expect minor delays. The public is asked to be safe by respecting work zones and giving crews space while they work.

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 road breaks the pavement and the asphalt is forced out.

The city has a comprehensive road maintenance program and has budgeted approximately $182 million in 2019 for road repairs, rehabilitation and maintenance work, including between $4 and $5 million to fix potholes. Each pothole costs about $25 to repair. Since 2015, the city has repaired an average of 224,440 potholes annually.

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

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