Warmer weather means more pothole patching

As the daytime temperatures continue to climb above freezing, city crews continue to patch potholes every day to keep streets in Minneapolis as drivable as possible. Because daytime thaws and overnight re-freezing lead to the formation of potholes, Minneapolis crews continue to monitor street conditions and patch potholes day and night.

Crews have been temporarily patching potholes all winter, with the bulk of it occurring since February. Since then they have used more than 300 tons of temporary winter patching mix and 180 tons of higher quality asphalt material that has been available since early March for use in areas where it will adhere better and provide a more durable patch.

Temporary patches are made during the winter months to try to keep our streets as drivable as possible until permanent repairs can be performed once the weather improves. Because hot mix asphalt and other materials are typically not available during winter months, crews use a "cold mix," which provides a temporary patch that has a fairly short lifespan, but that still makes streets more drivable. Public Works anticipates that permanent street repair work should begin by April 5.

The extraordinary weather and near-record snowfall we have experienced this winter led to significant pothole problems all around the metro area, and cities across the state are doing street maintenance with fewer resources because of State budget cuts. Since potholes are popping up or reappearing on streets all over Minneapolis, it’s not possible for crews to address all potholes at once. City pothole patch crews prioritize which potholes to patch, weighing in factors such as the amount of traffic a street carries, the severity of a particular pothole problem and whether the street is slated for more extensive repairs sometime during the year.

To report a pothole for repairs, drivers can call 311, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Reports can also be made online. Public Works uses reports that come in from the public, as well as their observations in the field, to prioritize work and address street issues as efficiently and effectively as possible with the given resources.

Published Mar 18, 2011