The Fixer: Cold, snowy winter is causing a lot more potholes than last year
This old-fashioned winter is sprouting a bumper crop of potholes, with the city already patching upwards of 1,000 per day.
The incredibly warm winter of 2012 meant less freeze-and-thaw weather, which causes potholes, and less snow to clear, allowing city workers to spend more time patching them.
It added up to much smoother sailing for drivers, but that hasn’t been the case this winter, judging by the number of potholes we’ve seen in our travels and reported on SeeClickFix.
Hector Moreno, one of Toronto’s road operations managers, said the colder weather is definitely causing more freeze-and-thaw days this year, and an increase in potholes.
When they aren’t needed to shovel snow from TTC stops and areas that sidewalk plows can’t reach, upwards of 50 workers, in two or three-person patching crews, are deployed daily to fill potholes, he said.
After filling about 242,000 potholes in 2011, Moreno said the number dropped to 175,000 last year, which reflects a decrease in freeze-and-thaw events compared to the previous year.
It costs the city an average of about $ 20 to $ 25 to fill a pothole, for a total of $ 3.6 million in 2012, much less than the $ 4.8 million spent in 2011.
But this year is a lot more like 2011, which means transportation services will be dealing with a big increase in potholes and cost to fill them, he said, while also clearing more snow.
When the pothole count peaks in early spring, Moreno says about 100 workers will be assigned each day to patching crews, which should allow them to keep up with the problem.
While the city does not guarantee that all reported potholes will be filled in 72 hours, as it did a few years ago, when Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker chaired Toronto’s works committee, he says three days is still the target.
Potholes can be reported on SeeClickFix, where all service requests are acknowledged by the city, or by calling or emailing 311.
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In 2012, city workers repaired 175,018 potholes (at a cost of $ 3.6 million), Toronto has 3,165 kilometres of local roads.
Average pothole repair cost: $ 20 to $ 25
2011 unit cost: $ 19.87 /pothole
2012 unit cost: $ 20.73 /pothole
The number of potholes repaired on average for each of the last four years: 210,978
TORONTO STAR | *