Minneapolis approves additional funding for pothole repairs

The Minneapolis City Council approved Friday, April 1 dedicating up to an additional $1 million to accelerate the City's pothole repair work.

The Twin Cities experienced extraordinary weather conditions this winter, and as a result there is a significant pothole problem across the metro area. In Minneapolis, crews have been working all winter to temporarily patch potholes when they could, with the bulk of the work occurring since February. With warmer weather and asphalt plants open for the season, Minneapolis Public Works crews will begin making permanent patches Tuesday, April 5, weather permitting.

The Mayor and City Council approved this additional funding to double the number of repair crews out patching potholes at the beginning of the summer construction and maintenance season. This will allow the City to accelerate repairs to the streets and alleys and fix the most significant problems sooner. Minneapolis will start the season with extra crews dedicated to permanent pothole repair work that could possibly advance general pothole repair on arterial streets by up to two months, and allow for repairs on some streets that would not have been addressed otherwise.

In winter months, it is only possible to make temporary patches 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 still makes streets more drivable.

Now that hot mix is available and the freeze thaw cycles that break up pavements are mostly behind us, crews will be able to repair potholes by cleaning and "prepping" the pothole with liquid asphalt cement that acts like a glue, and then applying, rolling and compacting the asphalt for a long lasting repair. Because this is more labor intensive, it is slower going, but crews will not have to make return trips. City pothole patch crews prioritize their work, weighing 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 Apr. 1, 2011