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With the worst of the winter weather hopefully behind us, the City of Pocatello Street Operations Department is in the process of cleaning up after Mother Nature.
“Anytime you have the severe weather we’ve experienced, potholes are going to form,” said Tom Kirkman, Street Operations Superintendent.
During the life of a road, small cracks will appear from normal driving. Once these cracks form, water and snow seep below the pavement and into the soil beneath. When the moisture in the ground freezes, it pushes the pavement up. Once temperatures rise above freezing, the ground will return to its original level but the pavement will remain raised. When a vehicle drives over the raised pavement, the vehicle pushes the pavement back down into the cavity, creating the pothole. To repair a pothole, crews will patch it utilizing two different types of repairs.
“Crews use either a hot or a cold mix asphalt. Crews are currently using cold mix as a temporary fix and will be going back to these potholes with a more permanent solution later in the year, when hot mix becomes available.” Kirkman said. “Cold mix is used during cold weather months due to its ability to cure and setup in wet, cold conditions. Hot mix is only available during warmer times of the year because it is not a manageable product for colder weather as it would setup too quickly.”
If you encounter a pothole while driving, safely maneuver around the pothole and consider contacting the Street Operations Department to report the location.
“Residents are our eyes and ears much of the time and the first step to getting potholes repaired is knowing where they are,” said Kirkman. “Call our shop or pass on a message through the City’s social media channels of Facebook, Twitter, or Nextdoor and we’ll add it to our list of potholes to be repaired.”
Residents who would like to report a pothole can reach Street Operations Department staff at 208-234-6250 and on Facebook at facebook.com/PocatelloStreet.
The City of Pocatello can also be reached on Twitter at twitter.com/cityofpocatello and Nextdoor at nextdoor.com/agency-detail/id/pocatello/city-of-pocatello.