Every spring brings an increased demand for pothole repairs. These repairs are weather dependent. At this time of year, the weather still fluctuates from warm to very cold. When temperatures are warmer the City’s Roads and Parking team members are out doing spring road maintenance, but this work is reduced as temperatures drop.
Potholes are formed when water or melted snow gets into small cracks or holes in the road. The water freezes as temperatures drop, pushing the pavement up and creating a hole which can be pushed down when cars travel over it. Over time, the hole can grow causing potholes.
Based on the forecast, we are anticipating several freeze-thaw cycles over the next few weeks. Our Roads and Parking teams will be out throughout the spring to fill the potholes. Potholes are filled by cleaning the hole of debris and water, then packing the hole with asphalt and rolling it or pounding it down. At this time of year, some potholes in high traffic areas may need to be refilled more than once. This is not due to poor asphalt or workmanship, but can happen if water gets back into the hole preventing the asphalt from forming an adhesive bond with the existing pavement.
Residents can expect to see our asphalting teams deployed across the City in the coming weeks filling potholes. For residents wishing to report a pothole, please create a Service Request online.
Ottawa is not unique in facing water and pothole challenges in spring. Our winter climate and frequent freeze / thaw cycles are hard on infrastructure, and we appreciate the support of residents as our Roads and Parking teams work to complete our operations.
Clearing Catch Basins
Catch basins allow water to drain from the road. They are a critical piece of infrastructure and can be found on the edge of the roadway, or inside the edge of a sidewalk. They are not found in the centre of the roadway. In late winter and spring, we want our catch basins to be open and clear of ice and debris so that water can drain from the road. When the water is flowing off the roads, it is not freezing on the road, and its not making its way onto resident properties. We ask for resident support to clear their local catch basin as a proactive measure. Residents can find where their local catch basin is online, or by looking for the yellow “T” markings on the roadway.
During significant rain events or melts, our Roads and Parking team may go into local communities to open up catch basins. Using backhoes, plows and even shovels, they will clear known problem areas or blocked basins of ice to open them up again. Residents who spot significant water accumulation that won’t drain or who need assistance in clearing a catch basin can report it online.
Please call 3-1-1 if the pothole issue is related to the following:
- Construction activity (square or rectangular cut in road)
- An immediate hazard to people or property
- Personal accessibility
- A traffic-related issue (such as traffic signals or traffic signs)
For all emergency requests call 3-1-1. If this service is not available to you please call 613-580-2400. All other Service Requests will be triaged and addressed as operations allow.