Drivers, roller-coastering over potholes, cracks and crevices will soon have a reprieve as the city plans to make road repairs as soon as possible.
Repairs could start as soon as next week if the weather stays temperate, and workers will be using cold mix as temporary fixes to fill potholes and cracks throughout the city.
Crews then will use hot mix for more permanent repairs when the material is available in May, when the hot mix plant is open.
"The cold mix doesn’t last as long but that’s about all we can do at this time of the year," city manager Jim Puffalt said on Friday, March 17. "When we get the hot mix we can fix the holes properly."
He said typical of the spring season, temperatures fluctuate quite a bit, and the snow and ice melts and refreezes. So the city needs to wait until temperatures are more stable before starting any projects.
"The ice is still coming out of the pavement so the (ground) is contracting and expanding as it freezes. That causes potholes to happen,” said Puffalt.
The city plans for a roughly $1.5 million project downtown this summer to replace road sections on three blocks where conditions are particularly bad — two blocks on 12th Ave., from 100 St. to 102 St., and one block on 101 St., from 11th Ave. to 12th Ave.
"Twelfth Avenue is in horrible shape," Puffalt said. "Those three blocks really need to be done.
"The best way to get rid of potholes is to repair the street completely,” he added. “So that's happening for a number of areas.”
Puffalt is asking residents to call the city's main switchboard number to advise staff if they are aware of any big potholes that need fixing so crews can get to work on them.
The city has budgeted $3.5 million this year for all roadwork and underground pipe repairs.
"Our engineering department analyzes all our roads and decides which roads need to be rehabilitated and which ones will wait longer,” Puffalt said.
He added to be prudent the city will only patch potholes on streets that aren’t planned for replacement in the near future.
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