By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s a problem you typically see in the spring, but when a warm-up like this follows a cold snap, potholes seem to pop up everywhere.

They’re on well-traveled streets, creating work for city crews and headaches for drivers, like Sandy Meyers of Minneapolis.

“It’s like the whole bottom coming loose,” Meyers said. “When you driving, you think everything’s smooth, but next thing you know your car is bumping and bumping.”

A deep-freeze like the one we just went through causes ice to expand in the street. When it melts, the water seeps out, taking asphalt with it. That’s when repairs are needed. Cities will look to put down a cold patch this time of year. It’s a temporary fix that could last a few hours or a few months depending on the weather.

 

(credit: CBS)

Some problematic potholes need to be treated every day until city crews can lay down a more permanent hot patch in the spring. Mike Burns with Parents Auto Care in Minneapolis said spring is typically when potholes pick up, but the recent temperature swing will likely have them dealing with bent rims and flat tires for a while.

“Someone will say, ‘Hey, I was driving last night and out of nowhere I fell in a five-foot pothole, and now my … wheel’s bent to the side,’” Burns said. “It’s about $30 for a tire repair or something like that, or a new tire is obviously a lot more than that. Otherwise, yeah, front-end work can vary in price up to something like a couple thousand dollars if it’s incredibly severe. You got to be on the road, stay in your lane and you just got to pay attention to where you’re going.”

Potholes in St. Paul can be reported on the city website. You can also call 651-266-9700 or email potholes@ci.stpaul.mn.us. In St. Paul, you’re encouraged to file a claim for pothole damage. Once you go to the website, you’ll have to print out a Notice of Claim form and then mail it to the city clerk.

Potholes in Minneapolis can be reported online.  For damage, you can file a claim in Minneapolis. Call 612-673-2969 or print out a claim form and return it to the risk management, claims office.

John Lauritsen