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Lingering Winter Makes Pothole Patching Tricky

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(credit: CBS) Matt Brickman
Matt Brickman is the co-host of WCCO-TV Saturday Morni...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Patching potholes is an annual rite of spring in Minnesota, but with the latest round of cold weather, the potholes are sticking around a bit longer.

“Usually we get on pot holes earlier in the month, but being it’s been so cold we’ve had to wait,” said Brad Gunderson, a worker with the City of Minneapolis.

Winter is primetime for pot holes. When ground water freezes, it expands, causing cracks in the roads. Traffic driving over those cracks causes vibrations, making the cracks grow even larger.

“They’re bad, wherever you go they’re bad,” Gunderson said.

Just like road salt, the asphalt patches only work then the temperature is right.

“We try to keep it in the 20s and 30s,” Gunderson said. “But nothing below or zero.”

If they put the patch down when it’s too cold, it’s not going to stick.

“It’s going to pop out eventually,” said Gunderson. “This is just a temporary fix until spring, when we permanently repair the street.”

Permanent repairs can’t be made until temperatures are consistently warmer than freezing. That won’t happen until April at the earliest.

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