REENFIELD — It’s pothole season.
The weather is warming up, a welcome sign spring is coming. But that also means streets and roads have thawed, causing potholes to pop up everywhere, officials say.
There’s no easy way to prevent small craters from forming on streets and roads, but street and highway employees are doing all they can to fix them, officials said.
It’s a problem that frustrates everyone. Greenfield street commissioner Tyler Rankins and county highway engineer Gary Pool ask drivers to be patient as crews work to address potholes and remind them to be cautious when traveling.
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Potholes can happen anytime but are most common in the winter, when groundwater makes its way under the road and freezes. As it freezes, the water expands. When the weather warms up, and the water melts, the road collapses and leaves a hole.
Right now, the city street department and county highway department are treating potholes with a cold patch, which is temporary because it doesn’t stick to the road well. It’s the quickest and easiest way to fill holes that can be dangerous if left untreated.
It must be consistently 50 degrees to use a Durapatcher, which fills holes with liquid emulsion and stone, which holds better than a cold patch.
The only way to permanently fix the hole is to dig out the area, lay a stone base and repave the road.
The county has more than 600 miles of road it is responsible for, and the city has more than 100. Officials say a majority of their work orders this time of year are for potholes, and it will take time to fix them all.
If a pothole damages your car, you might have a claim that could pay for your repairs. Contact the city or county and they’ll put you in touch with their insurance carriers to see if you have a claim.