In our last pothole post, we talked about how potholes form, but what happens when we find a pothole that needs to be repaired? And with over 47,000 kilometres of road to look after, you can bet we find a lot of them!
Depending on the pothole’s location, it may need to be filled within hours or days. For example, a pothole that is in the travel path on a main highway gets priority over those on the shoulder or on a low volume road. The size of the hole also plays a factor, with larger ones having priority over smaller ones. It’s like a triage system for wounded roads.
The best time to fill potholes is when the weather is warm and dry, but that doesn’t mean we don’t often repair them during the cold and wet season as well with a temporary fix, when the hole is posing a safety issue. Unfortunately the patching material doesn’t bond well to the road surface in wet, cold conditions and it’s not uncommon to see a pothole needing repair again shortly after it was filled. In fact, the maintenance contractor might make a number of temporary repairs to a pothole before the weather improves and a more permanent fix can be made. The colder and wetter the spring, the more often repairs are required.
Ministry staff and our maintenance contractors travel the roads regularly, looking for problems. We also value reports from the public as potholes can appear quickly, and the more eyes we have on the road, the faster we can find out about possible problems. If you see a pothole during your travels, please give our maintenance contractors a call and make sure they’re aware of it. There are 28 maintenance contractors throughout the province, and you can find the one for your area here.