The cold weather may make for a less severe pothole season

By KBJR News 1

March 7, 2014 Updated Mar 8, 2014 at 12:00 AM CDT

Duluth, Minn. (NNCNOW.com) -- Warmer weather, melting snow, and blooming flowers are all signs of spring, and all hard to come by these days, but one sure sign of spring is already emerging; potholes on city streets.

"You can't avoid them, but the city definitely needs to do something with it," said one Duluthian, Lori Korich. "I mean they have had how many years to figure out the best way to fill them and keep them filled?"

City officials have been working tirelessly this winter to treat icy and snow covered streets. As we head into the spring freeze–thaw cycle, they will have another problem to deal with.

"If we have a lot of that moisture running into the streets and then if we get some prolonged freezing after that, that's going to create a lot of potholes," said Mayor Don Ness.

However, the cold weather may have a positive effect on pothole season.

"We didn't have those freeze–thaw in December, January, and February when you have some of the worst pothole years have been when we had those warm–ups in February," said the Mayor.

He says a large portion of the city's street maintenance budget goes to pothole repair. The city has allocated around $1 million dollars dedicated to just pothole and crack sealing.

"We have a very robust pothole program planned for this year that we have budgeted," said Ness. "As we have done in the past, there is always the option to do an enhanced pothole program if we find that we have a really difficult spring,"

The enhanced program allows city officials to determine if they will need more man power and resources to deal with potholes; but the Mayor says it has yet to be seen.

The freeze thaw over the next few months will give city officials a better idea of how bad the potholes will be going into spring and summer.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com

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