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Pothole & Utility Cut Repairs

Utility cut

If you see a pothole report it quickly and easily online with the Report a Pothole MapOnce the snow melts and the hot asphalt mix is available for use in the spring, the City begins its annual spring pothole blitz. City and private crews head out in full force to patch potholes across the city, beginning with potholes in driving lanes along high-traffic priority streets. Utility cuts are filled with gravel until all frost is out of the ground and it can be repaired permanently with hot asphalt.

Potholes and utility cuts that may cause injury or vehicle damage are considered an emergency.

If you see a pothole or utility cut that may cause injury or vehicle damage, please call our Customer Service Centre at 306-975-2476.

Pothole Repairs

Potholes are caused by moisture getting into cracks in the pavement, and then freezing and expanding, the increased pressure causes asphalt to break away, resulting in a pothole. When vehicles drive over a pothole it can cause the edges to crumble and increase its size. If you see a pothole report it quickly and easily online with the Report a Pothole Map.

 What you can expect from us

  1. City crews are repairing potholes year-round.
  2. Potholes deemed emergencies, including verified Tier 1 locations on the Report a Pothole Map, will be made safe within 24-72 hours, weather permitting.
  3. Non-emergent potholes will be repaired through planned maintenance programs designed to maintain the road network over time while keeping citizen safety, mobility and fiscal responsibility top of mind. 

 How you can help us

  1. Use the Report a Pothole Map to let us know where potholes exist.
  2. When reporting a pothole, ensure you give us accurate and detailed information whenever possible.
  3. Allow 24 to 48 hours for crews to complete repair work and update the Report a Pothole Map before checking on your request.
  4. Slow down and keep an eye out for crews so everyone gets home safely.
Pothole Repairs - Frequently Asked Questions

When does the Spring Blitz begin?
The Spring Blitz begins in April, as soon as the hot-asphalt material is available.

How can I report a pothole?
Drivers and residents can report a pothole with our online Report a Pothole interactive map or call our customer service centre at 306-975-2476. Please call if it is an emergency and has the potential to cause damage or injury.

How do I use the online Report a Pothole map?
When safe to do so, access the Report a Pothole online map from any device with an internet connection. From there, you can enter an address using the magnifying glass, use the GPS locator or click on a point in the map where the pothole is located. If you need to adjust the location, click Cancel in the form box and click on a new point. Once you complete the form with details about the pothole, a red dot will appear. Once the pothole is repaired, the dot will appear green. Full step by step instructions.

How long will it take to repair a pothole once they are reported?
New locations are inspected and rated to determine priority. Potholes that cause concern in the driving lanes of high-traffic (priority) streets will be repaired with a higher priority. Potholes deemed emergencies, including verified Tier 1 locations on the Report a Pothole Map, will be made safe within 24-72 hours, weather permitting.

For a pothole emergency, please call the customer service centre to report the location at 306-975-2476.

In some cases, what is reported as a pothole is actually a Utility Cut that has been filled in with gravel until it can be permanently repaired. A Utility Cut is the excavation required to repair, connect or maintain underground utilities (water, sewer, natural gas, power, telephone, etc.). Roads, sidewalks and landscaping damaged by a Utility Cut in the winter are filled with gravel until permanent repairs can begin in the summer. The square or rectangular-shaped holes on high-traffic streets are maintained regularly; however, heavy traffic and temperature changes can cause the gravel to sink. Deficiencies can be reported by calling Public Works Customer Service at 306-975-2476.

You may check the status of repairs for a utility cut on our Utility Cuts and Repair Schedules map. The map is updated regularly and includes locations scheduled for up to four weeks.

Crews were repairing potholes on a priority street, but why didn't they repair all of them, including some big ones?
In order to quickly address the potholes on priority streets that are affecting traffic, crews are repairing the potholes within the driving lanes first. Once the crews are caught up on the high-traffic streets, they will return to address concerns in the areas along the curb or in parking lanes.

What are considered "Priority Streets"?
Priority 1 streets include freeway; access to fire halls, hospitals and ambulance sites; and major roads such as 8th Street and 22nd Street. Priority 2 streets include rapid transit bus routes and busy roads such as Broadway Avenue, Fairlight Drive and 37th Street.

Which potholes get fixed first?
Potholes are rated on the following criteria: size, location (driving lane, curb lane); priority class of street; and how hazardous the pothole is for drivers. Locations are developed for each crew's area that allows them to repair the potholes in an orderly manner.

I have damage on my car from a pothole. Who do I report the damage to and how do I make a claim against the City to pay for it?
If you have damage to your vehicle, you should contact your insurance provider. Report a claim for vehicle damage.

What causes potholes?
If moisture gets into cracks in the pavement, and then freezes and expands, the pressure that is created causes the asphalt to break away, resulting in a pothole. Vehicles driving over a pothole can cause the edges to crumble, which increases the size.

Why is that big pothole filled with gravel, instead of being paved?
What you are seeing likely isn't a pothole. Potholes are always repaired with asphalt. Holes created in the roadway for underground work, called Utility Cuts, are filled with gravel and then scheduled for paving after the underground work is completed.

Why doesn't the City fix potholes in the winter?
The City does repair potholes and utility cuts in the winter; however, during the winter, the fixes can only be temporary. This is because the best way to repair holes or utility cuts is by using a hot-mix asphalt, which can only be produced in warmer temperatures. In the winter, potholes and utility cuts are maintained with gravel and recycled asphalt. This temporary mix may shift or settle during a freeze/thaw cycle. The utility cut cannot be properly fixed until the frost is largely out of the ground, and hot-mix asphalt can be used.

Will the fixes be permanent or will the potholes come back?
For pothole and utility cut repairs to be effective, daytime temperatures must be consistent at +2 degrees Celsius range or warmer. When temperatures fall at night, hot-mix asphalt can neither be produced nor placed effectively. Repairs are most effective when conducted during the warmest part of the day.

The reality is that changing temperatures and ground conditions can result in potholes forming within hours or occurring next to areas previously repaired. This is not uncommon in our climate. Crews will be re-visiting sites where potholes re-emerge.

Utility Cut Repairs

A Utility Cut is an excavation required to connect, repair or maintain underground utilities that are often located more than eight feet deep beneath the roadway surface. Utility Cuts have straight edges and can range in size from one foot to more than 10 feet wide, and are filled with gravel. These are not considered potholes and are repaired under a separate program. Roads sidewalks and landscaping affected by a Utility Cut are filled with gravel until restoration occurs between May and October.

Check the status of repairs on our Utility Cuts and Repair Schedules map.

Utility Cuts - Frequently Asked Questions

For Contractors: Utility Cut Request Form

Any construction that requires access to underground utilities on City Right-of-Way must be approved by the City. Any excavation that may impact traffic must have a permit, proper work zone set-up and signage, and be restored within 24 hours of completion. Please use the Contractor Utility Cut Request form or email your questions.

Contractor Utility Cut Request - Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do the work to restore the road/concrete damaged for my utility cut? Can I hire a third party to restore the road?

All utility cuts must be restored within 24 hours of the completion of the work. As part of the contractor permit for a utility cut, you may pay the City’s rate for the road restoration or arrange for this on your own. Any roadway utility cut restoration must meet the City Standard for Asphalt Repair, and be completed before the detour or road closure is removed.               

Why did the City’s rates change for utility cuts?

Over the past several years, with more construction and development, the amount of utility cuts on the road has increased significantly. To ensure these roads will be restored quickly following the work, this process was tendered to private companies. The rate is based on a competitive bid process.

Do I have to get the City’s permission to cut into the road?

Yes. City of Saskatoon Bylaw No. 2954 Streets Use Bylaw (Section 6) requires approval from the City prior to any work that obstructs a road or bridge. Complete the online Contractor Utility Cut Request form. As part of the permit process, the City will coordinate the road restrictions and timing to minimize the impact to traffic flow as much as possible on high priority roads. Please allow 7-10 days for this process.

Is the process for a Utility Cut permit the same for every type of road?

Every request for a utility cut must begin with the Contractor Utility Cut Request form. High-traffic, Priority 1 roads require a formal traffic detour plan and set-up provided by the City’s Transportation Division, for the safety of workers and drivers.  Applicable contact information can be found on the  Contractor Utility Cut Request form