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Potholes

Road work

Following provincial maintenance standards, our crews patrol city roads at regular intervals looking for potholes and other potential hazards. In spring when potholes are more prevalent, these crews also respond to calls from residents who can provide information about pothole locations in Waterloo.

How do I report a pothole?

Please provide the following information to assist crews in locating the pothole:

  • Name of street
  • Lane of street (i.e., northbound, right lane)
  • Address of the closest building to pothole
  • Cross street information, if available

Why are the roads so full of potholes in the Spring?

Potholes form because asphalt road surfaces crack after warming during the heat of day and then cooling at night. The constant stresses of traffic aggravate these cracks allowing snow and rainwater to seep into the underlying sand and gravel. During cold winter nights, this water freezes and expands. Some of the sand and gravel is pushed out as a result, leaving a hole when the ice eventually melts. Drivers also drive over these unseen holes, putting even more stress on the thin asphalt layer covering them. Eventually the asphalt layer over these divots collapses, creating potholes.

Why doesn’t the city fix these potholes as they occur?

During the cold winter months, potholes are filled with a mixture of cold asphalt. Cold mix is used due to the cold temperatures, but unfortunately does not stay in the holes when vehicles are constantly running over the area. These holes require regular filling during the cold winter months. In the spring, with the warmer weather, these holes can be filled and fixed permanently with a mixture of hot asphalt.

What should a resident do, if their car is damaged by a pothole?

If a resident’s car has been damaged by a pothole, he/she should contact Waterloo’s city clerk’s office for assistance at clerkinfo@waterloo.ca.