Duluth stepping up pothole filling efforts

By KBJR News 1

April 9, 2014 Updated Apr 9, 2014 at 7:34 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Chances are very good your car has suffered some damage this winter and now spring, thanks to plentiful potholes.

Duluth's mayor Don Ness addressed the issue of potholes in the city.

The plan went into full effect today. Crews were hard at work filling in holes and the city plans to keep the pace going as long as the weather cooperates.

They often come out of nowhere...
and after you've hit a big one, you'll find yourself swerving all over the road to avoid them.
This past winter has left potholes big enough to impair many cars and finally something can be done, now that the snow is melting.

"We have a plan, that we will be implementing, to use these surplus dollars and dedicate them to pothole improvement" said Duluth Mayor Don Ness.

Those surplus dollars the mayor is talking about are coming from the budget reserve which is used in emergency situations.
The plan is to double the pothole improvement program adding about 400-thousand dollars to its budget. The dollars are coming from careful financial planning by the city.

"We take a very aggressive approach to budgeting and it has enabled us to not only meet these needs, not only respond to these hits to the budget every year that we seem to be facing, but we've managed to increase that reserve every year since 2008" said Chief Administrator, David Montgomery.

Every year potholes come back, but this year has been especially bad thanks to a harsh winter and the inability to keep up with regular maintenance on the roads.
The city is planning to implement five pothole filling crews and two crack sealing crews from now through the summer.

"Those cracks in the roads that look pretty small today are what's going to become potholes and if we ignore those we have all those potholes to fill and it's much more work to do that and it leads to the deterioration of the road" said Operations Manager, Kelly Fleissner.

The crack sealing crew this summer will hopefully make next spring a little less bumpy.

Crews were filling potholes on the main roads today with a temporary cold mix. A more permanent hot mix solution will be available in Late May to Early June.

About 23 temporary seasonal employees will be brought on to help with extra repairs to city streets, which is an addition to the 39 current full time employees.

Bryce Henry