DES MOINES, Iowa -- This stretch of early spring-like weather is causing an equally early crop of potholes in Des Moines streets.
"As it melts, frozen ground will shrink--so the road starts moving underneath the load of traffic while it's being attacked in the overnight hours by freezing water that's gotten deeper into any cracks in the pavement," says Des Moines Public Works Director Jonathan Gano.
He says street crews patching potholes right now are likely to see them again when the weather warms up for good.
"As asphalt plants are shut down for winter, we use an alternative product called "cold mix" asphalt that is always available. The trick there, though, is it is a temporary repair. This kind of asphalt never completely sets up into that hard rock-like asphalt or concrete that we're familiar with driving on," Gano says.
He says It's not just the city's busiest streets that are most likely to see potholes.
"From the age of the pavement, to how many heavy trucks are on it, to what's going on underneath and how it was built. A lot of Des Moines is pretty old--there are streets right outside my office in the East Village are there are brick roads that were built decades and decades ago," Gano says
While Public Works crews are on the look-out for potholes on the city's busiest streets, he says they need the public's help in more residential areas.
The City of Des Moines says residents can report potholes by calling the 24/7 Public Works Customer Service Center at 515-283-4950 or on the MyDSMmobile App where users can report precise locations on the map.