Sidewalks & Roads
State of Good Repair Program
The City is committed to keep infrastructure in a state of good repair at a minimal cost. Toronto uses a cost-effective way of maintaining City infrastructure called “life-cycle costing.” Repairing roads, sidewalks, bridges, and expressways as necessary. This avoids costly maintenance in the future. It also extends the life of infrastructure before it would need reconstruction. This practice is applied to roads, sidewalks, bridges and expressways.
Road Resurfacing & Reconstruction
The City’s roadways are an asphalt top and a concrete bottom. In most cases, a new road’s asphalt has a life span of 18-25 years. Cracks and holes appear in the road as weather conditions and regular wear-and-tear occur, then City staff repair them. When water enters the cracks created in the road, it can lift chunks of the asphalt.
When a road has existed for about 20 years, inspectors look at the road and perform engineering tests to determine if it needs a new surface. If deemed to be in good shape, there is no work done on the road and inspectors return at a later date to re-inspect the road. If the asphalt is in disrepair, the City will plan road resurfacing work, which involves replacing the asphalt surface.
If preventative measures, such as resurfacing, are periodically done, the concrete base of the road will last about 50 years. If preventative measures are not undertaken, a road’s base might last only 25-30 years. When inspecting the road, inspectors consider the condition of the road base to keep track of the need for a full road reconstruction.
Taking steps to repave the road before it reaches a state of further disrepair has some obvious benefits. The work results in an improved road surface. That benefits road users and also keeps the road base in a state of good repair.
When inspectors are looking at the road conditions, they also inspect sidewalks and sidewalk bays. Inspectors will track the condition of the sidewalk and note which sections need repair or replacement. This means replacement only happens to the bays in the greatest need. Replacement will happen when road work is already planned or on an as-needed basis.
Report minor sidewalk or road damage online.