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Des Moines experiencing large number of reports about potholes


Pothole season has arrived.

Through March 7, the city of Des Moines has received 1,209 reports of potholes, more than double the 578 received during the same period a year ago.

The high number of potholes reports is keeping city crews busy. “Under normal circumstances, we’re able to patch potholes within 24 to 48 hours, but that timeline drags out a bit longer while we’re in this peak period,” Public Works Director Jonathan Gano said in a news release.

Frequently, the same pothole will be filled more than once during the “pothole season,” Gano said in a video. The current cycle of freezing and thawing shifts and weakens pavement. Normal traffic and snow plows put more stress on the roads.

With winter weather still lingering, it is not yet warm enough for the application of hot mix asphalt, a long-lasting material used in road construction. Instead, city crews use cold mix asphalt because it does not require any heating during patching. However, the cold mix never truly sets and is a temporary fix until construction season begins closer to summer and suppliers begin manufacturing hot mix asphalt.

“As we put extra effort into working that backlog down, we ask for the public’s patience. If you call in a pothole and it’s not repaired within a couple days, chances are it will be within the next couple more beyond that,” Gano said in the video.

Potholes in the city of Des Moines can be reported online or by calling the Public Works Customer Service Center at 515-283-4950.

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