Potholes are formed when water gets below the surface of the road through cracks in the pavement and then expands and contracts.
When it’s cold, the water freezes and expands causing the pavement to bend or crack. Then when the weather gets milder, the ice melts and the pavement contracts, leaving areas where more water can get in. If this freeze/thaw cycle happens many times, the road can become very weak.
Regular weight of traffic passing over weakened areas can cause the surface of the road to collapse which causes potholes.
Due to this freeze-thaw cycle, pothole issues are most common in the late winter and early spring.
How Does the City Fix Potholes?
The City uses private contractors in addition to its own crews to patch potholes year-round. Patching efforts typically ramp-up during the late winter and early spring periods as needed.
We predominantly use hot mix asphalt patching, cold mix patching or recycled asphalt patching depending on the time of year.
Hot mix patching is the more cost effective form of pothole repair. However, during the winter, local asphalt plants shut down, therefore cold mix patching and recycled asphalt patching is used.
Cold mix can be applied directly under all weather conditions, but is susceptible to road bed movement, vehicle traffic and snow removal operations.
Report a Pothole
We develop pothole patching lists based on information we collect during our road patrols as well as your calls to 311. To report a pothole, please call 311 and provide the following information:
- Street name
- Nearest address
- Which lane the pothole is in (right lane, left lane)
Vehicle Damage from Potholes
If you have experienced vehicle damage as the result of a pothole you may file a Notice of Claim with the City.
To lessen the chances of pothole damage to your vehicle:
- reduce speed,
- maintain optimum tire pressure and
- keep the steering wheel straight and avoiding sudden braking when encountering a pothole.