City crews fan out across Toronto to fill potholes in weekend blitz

About 30 city crews are filling potholes across Toronto on Saturday as part of a blitz to get roads ready for winter.

Crews began work on expressways at 1 a.m. to take advantage of light traffic at that time. Work started on other roads at 4 a.m. and is expected to be completed by 4 p.m.

The city has budgeted $182 million for road repairs, rehabilitation and maintenance work. Up to $5 million of that amount is being used to fix potholes. Each pothole costs about $25 to repair, the city says.

"When travelling in or through Toronto on Saturday, members of the public are advised to leave extra time and expect minor delays," the city said in a news release. "Motorists are also asked to respect work zones and give crews space."

More than 183,000 potholes have already been filled this year. During five pothole blitzes held earlier this year, each of which lasted a day, crews filled about 49,544 potholes.

Mayor John Tory says the filling of potholes is one way that the city prepares for wintry weather. He added that crews on Saturday are improving roadways for people who drive, bike and take transit.

Michael Aitkens/CBC
Michael Aitkens/CBC

"If you come across one of our hard-working crews, especially during daylight hours, please be patient and give them room to get the job done," Tory said in the release.

According to the city, potholes are created when water works its way through the top layer of asphalt through cracks in the road. When moisture freezes and thaws, parts of the pavement are forced up.

The weight of vehicles, when they pass over the cracked asphalt, breaks the pavement and the broken asphalt is forced out.

Since 2015, the city has repaired an average of more than 200,000 potholes annually.