The City of Ottawa maintains more than $10 billion of existing road infrastructure. The City’s road network consists of approximately 6,000 kilometres of roads. To manage the road network, best industry practices are applied and ongoing research and innovation is always explored to find new ways to improve how roads are built and renewed.
The City of Ottawa is a recognized leader in asset management and road renewal practices are part of the commitment to maintaining the assets in a state of good repair.
Report a pothole on the road.
To find out which roads are scheduled for renewal, visit our new interactive map.
The map allows you to find upcoming projects, determine project start dates, find details on project scope and more.
To access information on current road closures and detours due to construction and/or special events please visit the traffic report.
Determining Road Renewal
City infrastructure projects scheduled for renewal are reviewed as part of the annual budget preparation and this includes visual inspections. Priorities are weighed against competing needs and available funding. Road renewal priorities are determined based on existing condition, traffic volumes, costs, coordination with other nearby projects, and public concerns.
The City uses a Pavement Management Application (PMA) to manage its road network, which is considered a best practice in Asset Management. This system is continually updated with condition data.
Renewal efforts are aimed at assets with a greater risk of impacting levels of service. As a result, arterial and collector roads, particularly those carrying substantial vehicle traffic, will be rehabilitated more frequently than local roads.
Priority is given to road renewal based on a risk-based approach that:
a) Assesses Condition
The City of Ottawa maintains an inventory of all infrastructure assets. This inventory records information on each road such as:
- Road condition
- Structural adequacy of the pavement structure
- Past maintenance history
- Other road inventory data, include feedback received
The detailed inspection of the road network is done on a cycle, which corresponds to the type of road:
- Highway 174 and the transitways are done on a 2-year cycle
- Arterials and collectors are done on a 3-year cycle
- Local roads are done on a 5-year cycle
Learn more about road classifications here
Visual inspections are conducted on the highest priority roads annually to validate the ratings and renewal needs.
b) Targets a Level of Service
The City of Ottawa has adopted a of state of good repair which is a balance of affordability, risk and service level. Making the best use of available funding requires further risk assessment and cost/benefit analysis.
c) Coordinates with Other Infrastructure Needs and Schedule
To minimize impacts and leverage efficiencies, the City of Ottawa aims to coordinate road renewals with other infrastructure projects including:
- Sewer and culvert repairs or replacements
- Watermain repairs or replacements
- Intersection improvements
- Traffic calming
- Utility projects
- Cycling and pedestrian facility projects
- New development related road projects
Coordination of road renewal projects with other projects is a significant factor in the scheduling of most projects.
Road Renewal Techniques
Road rehabilitation programs are established by considering several renewal options to optimize the life cycle of the roadway.
Treatment applied to roads typically one to four years after a resurfacing project to seal cracks, often called reflective cracking. These projects are smaller in nature and are not available on the Construction Forecast Map.
Pavement preservation treatments are cost-effective and aim to extend the pavement life, improve safety, by increasing the friction between the road and the vehicle’s tires, as well as improving motorist’s satisfaction, by making the road smoother.
- A slurry-type product consisting of asphalt emulsion, aggregate, water and other additives, to seal the existing pavement surface.
- It is most effective when the pavement is still in good structural condition and only minor to moderate surface distresses are present.
- This improves skid resistance and extends the service life of the roadway by six to eight years.
- A pavement preservation treatment applied to surface treated roads a year or two after they have had a surface treatment
- This application seals any voids in the surface of the treated roads.
- This extends the service life by approximately five years and reduces potholes.
Road Resurfacing involves removing and replacing some of the top lifts or layers of asphalt in a paved road using one of the following techniques:
Mill and overlay:
- A pavement resurfacing treatment applied to existing hot mix asphalt pavement.
- In this treatment partial or full depth of the existing asphalt pavement is milled off and replaced with new hot mix asphalt.
- Depending on road class, traffic volume, and the pavement replacement depth the service life of the road may be extended by nine to 12 years.
Pulverize and Pave:
- This is a pavement rehabilitation technique, known as Full Depth Reclamation (FDR), applied to existing hot mix asphalt pavement.
- In this treatment, the full depth of the existing asphalt pavement and a portion of the underlying granular material is uniformly pulverized and blended to produce an improved, homogeneous granular material on which new hot mix asphalt is placed.
- Depending on road class and traffic volume, the service life of the road may be extended by 10 to 14 years.
Pulverize and Double Surface Treatment:
- This is a pavement rehabilitation technique applied to existing surface treated roads.
In this treatment, the full depth of the existing surface treatment and a portion of the underlying granular material is uniformly pulverized and blended to produce an improved, homogeneous granular material. The pulverized material is overlaid with a double application of stone chips and emulsion.
Depending on road class, traffic volume, and the pavement replacement depth, the service life of the road may be extended by 10 to 12 years.
Road, Sewer, Water Reconstruction
- This reconstruction technique completely replaces the road structure.
- This is a more expensive renewal method and is typically paired with renewal on underground infrastructure (sewer and water pipes), when the road needs to be widened to accommodate the increased traffic volume or when the structural bearing capacity of a road bed is exceeded.
- With the adoption of the Complete Streets Implementation Framework in 2015, the need to accommodate and ensure inclusivity for all users remains a key theme for infrastructure planning moving forward.
Report sidewalk and road damage: