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Potholes: how the city is working to fill in the gaps

March 27, 2019

“We’ve had less snow and warmer temperatures … prolonging more of those periods where the road was exposed to freeze-thaw cycles,” Transportation Manager Darwin Juell said.

Those freeze-thaw cycles are at the heart of pothole problems.

Potholes are typically created when moisture seeps into the cracks of the pavement and then expands when it freezes, like when you leave a water bottle in a vehicle overnight.

When the water expands, it weakens the structure of the road surface. Temperatures warm up, the water evaporates and a hole is formed while the constant aggravation of vehicle tires causes those cavities to expand.

Pothole maintenance, Juell said, is prioritized based on severity, location and volume traffic, with a bulk of reports coming in via the city’s 311 app.