Counties Getting Many Complaints About Potholes

Updated: 03/12/2013 10:47 PM KSTP.com By: Ellen McNamara

Just the mention of potholes is enough to make Minnesota drivers cringe.

Tuesday was the first day to tackle them in Ramsey and Hennepin Counties this season.

Both counties are already getting complaints from drivers.

While drivers try to avoid them (potholes) , road crews are headed right for them.

Like on Larpenteur Avenue in St. Paul.

Workers are busy.

8 complaints have come in so far this year in Ramsey County.

In Hennepin, there have been three times that number.

Since March through April is considered the heart of pothole season, complaints are only expected to rise.

"This will probably be a bad one, getting off to a strong start with a lot of rain moisture it's going to cause a lot of problems," Mark Rauchbauer with Ramsey County said.

Both Hennepin and Ramsey counties have three crews each dedicated to patching potholes. They use about 12 tons a day of an asphalt mix.

The mix is stickier and more permanent than the temporary cold mix used during the winter months.

Experts tell us potholes can develop in just a few hours because of our weather.

"It's hot, it's cold, holes thaw out and then they freeze up and pop right out again," Greg Wald with Hennepin County said.

After a crater is fixed, the crew moves onto the next on a different street.

There are always more to fix.

"It's the time of the year," Paul Langholz from Edina said.

Cities typically base repairs on three factors:

1) The degree of hazard to drivers.

2) The location of the pothole. For example, if a pothole is on a busier street, then it will be a priority.

3) Where the pothole is in relation to other road work being done.