Boulevard and pavement cut restorations
The City of Winnipeg Public Works Department Engineering Division plays an important role in ensuring that approximately 4,500 utility cuts are maintained and and restored each year.
What is a Utility Cut?
Utility cuts are made in street pavement, sidewalk pavement, curbs and boulevards by utilities, private contractors and City crews to either repair existing or install new electric, water, wastewater or hydro lines. Utility cuts may alter the aesthetics of your street during the process, but the steps are necessary to ensure the longevity of repairs.
Above all, we want to keep the area safe.
If at any time you notice the utility cut area is unsafe, please contact 311.
Utility Cut Process
- Utility obtains a street cut permit;
- Utility repair and cut are done by excavating boulevard and/or street;
- Utility backfills and maintains the cut area until permanently restored; Public Works assesses permanent restoration requirements;
- Restoration is assigned to a City crew or contractor;
- City crew or contractor carry out permanent restoration;
- Public Works inspects the restoration to ensure compliance.
On average it takes 6-12 months in order to completely restore an excavation cut.
Utility cut restoration work begins in spring once the frost has left the ground and continues until the ground freezes in October/November. If a utility cut is initiated after August 1, the utility cut restoration will begin the following spring and we aim to permanently restore those cuts within a year.
Impacts on Scheduling
- Utility cut requires filling and packing down;
- Inclement weather;
- Availability of restoration materials;
- Parked vehicles in front of restoration area;
- Time of year utility cut commences .
Frequently asked questions
If your excavation has not been scheduled you may wish to review the section subtitled Scheduling to learn more about how excavations are scheduled.
NOTE: The restoration of excavations made on private property is strictly between the property owner and the person who made the excavation.
The limits of the restoration are normally marked with paint prior to restoration commencing. If you are in disagreement with the limits contact 311.
The corporations that order the excavations pay for excavation restorations, therefore damages on City property that existed prior to the excavation are normally not considered as part of the restoration. Where restorations are being done using City forces, previously existing damages are sometimes included utilizing funds budgeted for maintenance work at the discretion of the foreman.
If some of the restoration work has been completed but the sod remains to be placed, the delay may be caused by circumstances beyond the City's control, e.g. significant amounts of recent precipitation. Patience in these circumstances is appreciated.
- The excavation is trimmed to a uniform shape (normally rectangular), and backfill material is removed or applied to achieve proper grade.
- The excavated area is filled with topsoil.
- The area has sod applied. Note: this may follow step 2 by one to two weeks as it is common practice to perform the sod operation only when there are a large number of excavations ready for the sod.
Where the condition of the existing boulevard surrounding the excavation is poor, topsoil and seeding may be considered as an acceptable method of completing the restoration.
Please keep in mind that although we strive to provide high quality restorations, it is extremely difficult to have the restoration look similar to the surrounding area immediately, especially if your boulevard is very well manicured and groomed. Generally, it can take several months of growth for the new turf to fully establish itself and mature.