Warmer weather brings more attention to potholes

During winter, a cold mix asphalt is used to fix potholes until hot mix asphalt can be applied for a longer-term solution.
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 7:42 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - After a long cold winter, and as temperatures heat up, the asphalt expands. That can often lead to cracks in the roadways that turn into potholes.

When potholes are found, the city will try to have them fixed as soon as possible. Sometimes it could be a same-day fix, other times could take up to 2 business days. However, sometimes the problem is deeper than simply filling in a pothole.

“A Lot of times we get a report of a pothole and when we get out we find out that what we’re really dealing with is an area of the road that requires rehabilitation. At that point, we refer it over to our engineering team, and they will see when we can get it on our capital improvement plan, and what we can do to get the entire roadway addressed instead of throwing patches at it,” said Shannon Traux, public works executive coordinator for the City of Rapid City.

Potholes can be repaired year-round, weather permitting. There is a special type of cold mix asphalt is used in winter, meanwhile, normal asphalt is used in the summer.

“We do monitor any potholes that are repaired in the winter using a cold mix, and then we go back in the summer and check the status of the fix and see if it’s still holding, or if we maybe need to come back and apply hot mix for a more long term solution,” Traux continued.

With the numerous water line breaks occurring lately, the city also takes into consideration whether nearby water and sewage lines require maintenance on the road, while the area is still under construction.

“A Lot of times it is water and sewer main replacement that drives a street replacement. The team in engineering does a great job of looking at the entire area and coordinating a street rebuild with water and sewer main replacements so that we don’t have to come back a couple of years later and tear up a street we just rebuilt,” said Traux.

Any highways running through town that need to be fixed are often turned over to the Department of Transportation to assess the best way to go about fixing that road. They work with the city to fix any infrastructure issues that might also exist.

If you have potholes you would like to report you can either call: (605) 394-4152 or go to: bit.ly/RapidCityLightsAndPotholes