What going on with all these potholes?

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On a daily commute, drivers can encounter many things on the road, especially things like potholes. When it comes to the temperatures, the stress of the road can cause different road conditions and that can cause the road to break and shift.

“Right now, we’ve been seeing lots of snow and with our temperatures, we’ve had a really lots of freeze-thaw cycles going through. The temperatures have been warming up and then cooling off, and it’s been affecting the roads pretty significantly this year,” said Margie Nelson.

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In Duluth, potholes can be seen and felt year-round; Nelson explains some factors behind that matter. “In the winter, it’s when the roads freeze and thaw. It contracts and it’s more likely to break down, and then also in the wintertime, it’s more of a challenge to repair them. The mixtures that we used to fill in the spring and summer, we use a different mix in the winter time, and it doesn’t last as long. So in the summer, you can make more long-term repairs. In the wintertime, it’s more patching for shorter fixes.”

Potholes can vary in size from small to big and depending on the season that we are in, can help determine the expansion size. “So in the warmer temperatures, it expands; then when it gets colder, it contracts. That movement really can affect the base of the road, and it will break up faster,” Nelson shares.

As drivers try to avoid those potholes, it can sometimes be hard but when you come across one, Nelson mentions that you should try and make sure you report it to your city or county.

“We don’t necessarily know about every single pothole. We patch them as we can, and we will get to them as soon as we can. But we sometimes just need to know where they are. So you can let the agency that’s in charge of the road know, and we’ll get out there as soon as we can to fix that.”