Time to ‘get tough’ with contractors over poor road cuts, says Oakville mayor


Published August 11, 2023 at 4:33 pm

Construction of new homes is happening all over Oakville, but residents aren't too happy with the poor road cuts being made, leaving, in some cases, deep holes that can damage a vehicle when it passes over. INHALTON PHOTO

Joe walks to the part of the repaired road and sticks his foot down into the hole where the tar was supposed to be topped up even to the original road.

“See. Not even close,” says the Southview Rd. home owner who doesn’t want his last name used in case the contractor who did the work has an issue. “Look how much my foot goes down?”

The independent contractors who dug up the road while working on a new home construction on the street did return to repair the pothole, but it still wasn’t even with the rest of the street.

“You can hear cars when they go over them,” added Joe. “These holes can end up doing some pretty good damage if they’re not paved right. These old bungalows are being torn down for new homes and the workers are leaving the streets in a mess.

“It’s happening all over town. Something has to be done.”

Oakville mayor Rob Burton shares the same frustration. He says something is being done.

“We’re increasing (the contractor’s) deposits that they have to give us and we’re inspecting more carefully,” Burton told halton.insauga.com’s Khaled Iwamura during the regular monthly video interview. We’re going to make them pay to do it right.

“So if you’re one of those contractors, straighten up.”

Joe said he understands the work that goes into a building new home and that the road in front has to be dug up, but says it’s only fair that they leave the road in as good condition as it was when they dug it up.

Cars shouldn’t have to slow to a crawl and manoeuvre around it.

“Nothing aggravates me more than this,” said Burton of the poor repairs. “We repave our roads on a regular schedule. We’re very proud in Oakville that we have the smoothest roads of any city in the GTA.

“It drives me crazy when we spend a ton of money on making sure a road gives you a nice smooth ride and then some contractor does a road cut and repairs it poorly.”

The town changed the road cutting process recently. It now requires the contractor to apply for the development engineering permit, instead of the owner. The permit is valid for six months.

To improve the quality of work, longevity of town roads, and public safety, changes in the permitting process have been implemented. These changes include:

Contractor responsibilities:

  • Apply for the development engineering permit (road cut activity only), using the town’s online services portal by creating an account
  • Provide the required securities. Once the work is complete and has passed final inspection, any remaining securities will be returned to the contractor that provided the securities
  • Provide the town with 48-hour notice before the work begins by contacting Service Oakville
  • Submit an inspection

Road cut inspections can take place when the work is complete, even if the other permitted work on the private property is still underway.

The mayor doesn’t need to hear from residents of how big an issue this has become around town. He’s seen it himself.

“Some of them are really long,” he said of the road cuts. “There’s one on Lakeshore Rd. that’s a couple of car-lengths long. I don’t understand the excuse for that one, but that’s galvanized us into saying ‘OK, we got to get tough.”

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