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Potholes usually occur in the spring when frost develops and snow is melting, and usually develop on the side of the road. Residents are warned to be careful when going through puddles because they can hide potholes. The City does not repair potholes in driveways and private parking lots.

The City maintains approximately 1370 lane kilometres of road, and crews regularly patrol streets to identify potholes and other road deficiencies; but potholes can develop daily when temperatures begin to hover around zero degrees.

Maintenance Standards

All roads within the municipality are required to be maintained in accordance with the Provincial Minimum Maintenance Standards. The minimum maintenance standard sets out the maximum size (area) and depth that a pothole can be before a repair is required. It also sets out the amount of time that is allowed to pass before the repair must be completed and that varies based on the amount of traffic that occurs on that particular road.  The standard ranges from 4 days for heavily travelled roads to 30 days for roads with lesser amounts of traffic.

Crews often repair isolated potholes with “cold mix” which is a more pliable mix of asphalt that enables it to be shoveled and placed in the hole. This may appear messy compared to hot mix asphalt, but cold mix material does become more consolidated in a short period of time as traffic helps to compact it to the existing road surface.

Reporting Potholes

We can use your help in identifying locations that require attention so that they can be repaired in a timely manner. Pothole complaints are addressed on a priority and scheduling basis. To report a pothole, please provide location details via one of the following channels:

The Formation of Potholes

  1. Water seeps into cracks in the pavement.
  2. The water builds up and softens the ground under the road.
  3. The water freezes and expands, which pushes the pavement up.
  4. When the water under the pavement dries, a hole is left beneath the road.
  5. The pavement is now weakened. As soon as a car drives over this area, the pavement collapses, leaving behind a pothole.

Damage Claims

If a person is looking to submit a claim for damages he/she is required to submit in writing to the attention of Legal Services (P.O. Box 400, 70 Collier Street, Barrie, ON, L4M 4T5; or including the following information so an investigation can be initiated:

  • contact information
  • day the damage occurred
  • road the pothole that damaged the vehicle was on
  • direction travelled
  • a landmark to identify the location of the pothole
  • the damages being claimed

Please note: where roads meet the minimum maintenance standards as set out by the Ontario government, the City of Barrie has no obligation to process a claim.

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