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March 9th - Message from Roads and Parking Services Regarding Pothole Repairs

It must be spring because we are seeing an increased demand for pothole repairs. We will be taking advantage of warm weather expected over the next few days as all available resources will be deployed to open catch basins and to fill potholes.


Residents can expect to see our Roads and Parking team members out in full force across the City as we begin some of our spring road maintenance operations before temperatures drop again.

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.

Filling Potholes

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

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