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.