By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thanks to a winter thaw we are seeing a spring time problem in January. Street crews and auto body shops around the Twin Cities are getting plenty of calls for potholes.

The city of Minneapolis has received more than 120 calls about potholes since the beginning of the year.

Jan. 2020 through the 24th
Week 1 28
Week 2 45
Week 3 24
Week 4 27

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“Even with a car that’s in theory an off-road vehicle, you can’t help but feel it,” driver Tallis Boyd said.

A year ago, we were talking polar vortex. This year it’s a January thaw. But that’s made Royalston Avenue in Minneapolis a royal pain, and it’s not the only roadway that’s suffering.

“On 2nd Street, scooping the loop coming down St. Anthony Main, it’s just horrible out there,” driver Andrew Niklawski said. “I see little, bitty ones that I can only feel on my bike. I see big, fat ones I can feel in my car.”

The nighttime freeze and daytime thaw has carved out craters we typically see in March and April, and its driving more business to body shops like Midas in Maple Grove. January is typically their slowest month, but not this year.

“Tie rods being damaged. Struts, shocks, control arms, ball joints, pretty much anything in your suspension it can really tamper with,” Emily Taylor said.

Taylor said pothole repairs range from $100 for alignment, to $1,000 or more for suspension work. A bump in the road that can lead to a major headache. Her advice is to pay attention to your vehicle if you do hit a pothole.

“There are a few things you can look for, like your uneven tire wear. You’ll see that noticeably. You won’t even have to touch your tire,” said Taylor.

Another sign of damage is if your vehicle starts pulling to the right or left.

City crews are focused on snow and ice removal now, but they will put down a temporary cold patch to get through the winter until a more permanent fix can be made in the spring.

For the most part our crews are currently focused more on snow and ice removal and not pothole repairs. Permanent patches are made in the spring when warmer temperatures make that possible,” read a statement from the city.

John Lauritsen

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