As the weather warms up — and then cools off, then suddenly warms up again — your drive to work may be a bit bumpier.
But in this season of potholes, there’s good news: Another winter with just a few snowstorms means this year is on track to be a manageable one. Warmer conditions during the day have helped small snowfalls melt, dry and disappear before causing big problems on the roads.
“The weather has been good to us,” said Austin Rowser, assistant street maintenance engineer for the City of Omaha.
Crews have been patching potholes since the first significant snow fell in mid-December. The Omaha Public Works Department had 10 orders to patch up craters on roads that month.
In January, as more precipitation fell, the demand went up sharply to 186 projects. February is on track to be even busier, with 151 work orders put in so far.
Right now, workers are filling in the holes with a substance called “cold patch,” an asphalt material that’s not heated and stays loose at low temperatures. It’s a temporary fix until temperatures climb and asphalt plants reopen, usually in mid-March.
Rowser said his department schedules the repairs based on several factors.
“Average daily traffic comes into play, (as does) the size of the pothole,” he said. “We don’t want damage to any vehicle, so anything that appears to be something that would cause damage would get filled first.”
To report a pothole, call Omaha public works at 402-444-4919 or click here.
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