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Mild Winter Leaves Metro Roads With Fewer Potholes

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If the 70 degree temperatures we’ll experience later this week aren’t enough, there’s another big reason to cheer our warm weather: It’s already helped a lot when it comes to potholes.

Last year, the City of Minneapolis fielded 917 pothole reports in February and March. This year, it’s only fielded 80 reports. It goes to show that our winter weather and temperatures are making the drive better.

Mike Kennedy, the Director of Transportation, Maintenance and Repair for the City of Minneapolis, said this winter has been markedly different from the last one.

“It’s definitely a tale of two extremes,” he said.

In the last two years, the city set two records, back to back, regarding snow emergencies. It declared eight snow emergencies after some serious snowfall last year. The city has yet to declare one this year.

The lack of a metro deep freeze has kept potholes from rapidly forming.

“The enemy is the water and moisture getting down into the pavements and cracks in the fissures… freezing, expanding, and then thawing,” Kennedy said. “The pothole collapses and the material comes out.”

Roads that constantly have a pothole problem have been resurfaced. Projects included 43 miles in all last year, including a stretch of Lyndale Avenue downtown.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation also credits the mild winter for fewer potholes.

Like they’ve done in years past, city and state crews have been doing temporary patch work this year. A more permanent pothole patch will happen when it’s warmer.

“Couple the light winter with lots of work, it’s giving us this great result,” Kennedy said.

It’s unlikely we’ll see potholes form in the near future. Even if we the metro gets moisture, it still needs to freeze in order to form potholes. With the warm temperatures expected soon, it just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

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