The City of Toronto has planned three pothole repair blitzes in May to help keep roads safe and in a good state of repair. The first blitz is today, Saturday, May 2, followed by repair blitzes on Saturday, May 9 and 23, weather permitting.
Crews have already been busy all spring repairing as many potholes as possible on Toronto’s expressways, major roads and neighbourhood streets. City staff will work a 12-hour shift today with appropriate physical distancing measures in place.
Traffic volumes on Toronto’s roads are down between 45 and 65 per cent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the month of April, staff fixed more than 12,000 potholes while making daily pothole repairs. Today’s event will see up 48 crews and 146 people repairing potholes throughout the city.
People driving or biking for essential travel today are advised to expect minor delays. The public is asked to be safe by respecting work zones and giving crews space while they make repairs.
Pothole repair blitz crews are made up of the same City staff who handle important work such as road maintenance, snow clearing, street sweeping and other maintenance work.
City crews have already repaired more than 86,000 potholes this year. City workers annually repair more than 200,000 potholes on average in Toronto.
A few recent examples of how the City manages road surfaces include:
• planned annual maintenance closures of the Gardiner Expressway and DVP
• proactive daily repair and maintenance of potholes by patrolling crews
• pothole repair blitzes as required, and
• annual local and major road resurfacing projects as part of the City’s road maintenance and resurfacing program.
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 close to $220 million in 2020 for road repairs, rehabilitation and maintenance work, including between $4 million and $5 million to fix potholes. Each pothole costs approximately $25 to repair.
Potholes can usually be repaired within four days. 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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