City anticipates a busy spring repairing roads

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Friday, February 29, 2008
— This season could be a bad one for that dreaded harbinger of spring—potholes.

Potholes are caused by water and weather, both of which we’ve had lots of.

“You just physically can’t prevent potholes,” Messer said. “Potholes are a function of water, freezing and thawing.

“We’ve had a lot of water. We’ve had a lot of cold. We’ve had a lot of snow. We’re going to have a lot of freeze/thaw, a lot of movement in that pavement.

“I think when we come out of the cold/freeze/thaw cycle, our pavement is going to show a lot of potholes.”

The cycle starts even when the temperature is below freezing because the actual pavement can be above freezing.

“This is Wisconsin,” Messer said. “This is what we have. All we can do is address them as they come up.”

Messer’s department is here to deal with the potholes, he said.

Crews go straight from snow-fighting season to pothole season, Messer said. Sometimes, the seasons overlap.

Crews typically begin patching potholes when temperatures warm and the melting begins because it doesn’t do much good to repair the potholes in the cold, Messer said.

Workers can perform quick fixes during cold weather on some of the worst potholes until they can be repaired with more permanent material.

“Particularly, the bad ones out there that are swallowing up cars,” Messer said.


City crews keep a list of potholes they observe or about which residents complain. To report a pothole, call (608) 755-3110.

Click here to plot potholes on an interactive map. You can post the location, comments and a picture.

Last updated: 3:22 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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