POTHOLE PROBLEMS: Bumpy Ride This Winter

Des Moines Public Works says there hasn’t been a lot of middle ground this winter.

Extreme cold and snow storms have been followed by fast warm-ups. That’s keeping crews busy filling potholes.

In January, workers filled 135 of them compared to the 50 that were repaired in January of 2013.

Potholes form when water gets into cracks in the road and freezes causing the cracks to expand. When that ice thaws a pothole is left behind.

Crews are also seeing something caused only when it gets extremely cold.

“The extreme cold has caused what’s called a frost heave. You can feel it on the roads in the joint lines. It feels like a thump as you drive down it,” said Sara Thies with Des Moines Public Works.

There isn’t much crews can do to fix frost heave besides waiting for spring temperatures to help even the roads out.

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