Local, state crews make headway on pothole repair

Now that winter has subsided, road crews have set about repairing the damage fluctuating temperatures have done to the streets.

Lynn Couch, Public Works director, said road crews have already been making their way across town for the past week and a half filling potholes. He said the crews will continue the effort until the entire city has had an initial filling. Then, crews will continue to fill as other potholes develop.

“There is a lot more this year because of the winter we had,” Couch said.

Potholes typically develop when temperatures rise then fall drastically, said Bob Younie, state maintenance engineer for the Iowa Department of Transportation. Moisture gets in the cracks in the road, then, when it freezes the water expands and creates potholes.

The DOT repairs potholes on Iowa’s 9,400 miles of interstates and highways.

Younie said the patching season comes after winter has subsided. The DOT has yet to determine how bad potholes are on the areas it repairs, but has already begun filling potholes with cold asphalt.

Younie said crews regularly drive along those routes looking for potholes. He is unaware of any particular stretch of highway near Marshalltown that is need of repair and doesn’t anticipate the cost of pothole repair to exceed a typical year.

Although the city delayed a good chunk of microsurfacing, which shields cracks in the road from moisture, last year, Couch said the roads should still in good shape locally as crews continue to work. Some areas of town will need more attention since they were not microsurfaced. For instance, Thomas Drive is particularly in need of repair while State and Main Streets, which both received microsurfacing last year, are in good shape.

The city will have to repair more potholes than last year, but Couch said last year was an atypical winter, and potholes were not much of a problem.

“This is a more typical year for Iowa,” he said. “We shouldn’t have problems we are at it.”

Repairs will take four-to-six weeks to complete. However, Couch said the city is not responsible for potholes in parking lots and service drives, which are private property. Anyone who needs to report a pothole in town should call 641-754-5748.