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Citizens Information Service
Public Works

Cut Administration /Restoration

A review of the pavement and boulevard restoration process is below.


Street cut restoration work begins in spring once the frost has left the ground and continues until the ground freezes in the fall. If a street cut is initiated after June 1, the pavement restoration process may commence during the current construction season with completion of the boulevard restoration in the next construction season.

Pavement and boulevard restorations are done by separate entities, with the responsibility being shared between both public forces and the private sector.

Excavations are scheduled for permanent restoration with consideration to the following:

  • Boulevard excavations made by the Water Services Division must be flooded and tamped by that Division. See Clean-up after repairs.
  • Where pavement restoration and boulevard restoration are required at the same location, the pavement work may have to be completed first.
  • Locations that require only boulevard restoration and do not require "flood tamping" or have been flood tamped will be scheduled on the first available Sod Round for the area.
  • Locations that require pavement only restoration on regional streets will receive prompt attention while cuts on other street classifications will be inspected and restored in rotation.

Boulevard Restoration Process

Water Services Division Boulevard Excavations – Flood Tamping

For Water and Waste Department – Water Services a special process commonly referred to as "flood tamping" is performed. See Clean-up after repairs. This process includes the jetting of water into the excavation and the drying of the soil followed by mechanical compaction in order to consolidate the soil and limit future settlement. This process can take approximately two months to complete.

The flooding and tamping process cannot be carried out from October to May. Water tamping is scheduled to commence as soon as all frozen ground has thawed. Historically this has been late May or early June. Each spring when the flood tamping commences, all boulevard excavations to date that have not been flood tamped are included. This process repeats throughout the construction season at various intervals until inclement weather prohibits the operation, usually in September/October. When each location has been flood tamped it is identified as ready for restoration.

Flood tamping can have a significant impact on the time it takes to have excavations fully restored. Example: A Water Services Division combined boulevard and pavement excavation is made in the fall. The boulevard excavation is not flood tamped that year and subsequently is flood tamped in the late spring of the following year. The excavation is then considered ready for restoration and the pavement portion, which must be restored first, is assigned at the next available opportunity. Following notification of the completion of the pavement restoration the permit is reassigned at the next available opportunity for restoration of the boulevard portion.


Excavations that are ready for restoration are placed on lists referred to as "Sod Rounds." The locations on each list are organized in a logical geographic order to maximize the effective movement of restoration crews. During the construction season crews will be given lists containing locations deemed ready for restoration in their assigned area of the City. The City strives to perform as many restorations as possible during the construction season but delays may impact the restoration schedule.

Impacts to Scheduling:

  • Street cut requires filling and packing down;
  • Inclement weather;
  • Availability of restoration materials;
  • Parked vehicles in front of restoration area;
  • Time of year street cut commences.

Boulevard Restorations

Once assigned to a crew the restoration of boulevards is a three-step process:

  1. The excavation is trimmed to a uniform shape (normally rectangular), and backfill material is removed or supplied to achieve proper grade;
  2. The excavated area is filled with topsoil;
  3. The area has sod applied. Note: There may be a delay between step 2 and 3 by 1-2 weeks, as it is common practice to perform the sod operation only when there is a large number of excavations ready for the sod.

30-Day Maintenance Period

All areas with sod or those seeded are subject to a 30-day Maintenance Period. At the end of the maintenance period the restorations are inspected for acceptance. Deficiencies are corrected at the expense of the contractor. Major deficiencies such as the replacement of dead sod normally result in the maintenance period being recommenced.


If your excavation is not restored by a previously provided completion date the date may have been revised.

The weather is the most significant factor affecting restorations. A few days of rain or a heavy rainfall can compound delays as it may take several days for the excavation to dry enough to permit restoration to proceed. Wet weather also prevents the harvesting of sod. As harvested sod is not easily stored, days of rain will back up delivery orders. Sod growth at the supplier level may be impacted by drier weather as well. Hot and dry weather inhibits sod growth at both the supplier sod farms and once placed on the restoration area.

Materials removed from the excavation site are normally hauled to suitable disposal sites (e.g. the Brady Road Landfill). Significant rainfall can prevent access to dumping sites, impacting the ability to initiate excavation.

Pavement Restoration Process


All cuts under road pavement must be properly backfilled according to the Street Cuts Manual and/or Standard Construction Specifications.

Contractors may have to provide proof of evidence of their backfilling procedure to the Public Works Department – Engineering Division.

Temporary Surface Restoration

During the winter season, it is expected that all hard-surface cuts are temporarily restored with approved capping materials and maintained by the permit applicant at all times. The cut must be left in a safe condition and must not create a hazardous situation which can endanger the public.

If City Forces are responsible for the permanent restoration or if the excavation occurs late in the season, cuts are expected to be temporarily restored during the construction season.

Permanent Surface Restoration

Permanent restoration occurs during the construction season, which usually takes place from May to late October. Completion of permanent restorations are shared by both the City forces and licensed restoration contractors.

Restoration guidelines are provided in the Street Cuts Manual to aid when determining the repair limits. Both City forces and the licensed restoration contractors must adhere to the manual and/or Standard Construction Specifications when performing the procedures of cut restorations.

In addition, only City approved surface work products and suppliers must be used for pavement restoration. More information: Standard Construction Specifications

All repairs will be subjected to a QA/QC program by the Public Works Department – Engineering Division.

Last update: January 15, 2024

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