City Council approves additional funding for pothole repairs

The Minneapolis City Council today approved dedicating up to an additional $1 million to accelerate the City’s pothole repair work.

This past winter‘s combination of excess moisture and deep freezes caused a significantly greater -than-average pothole problem throughout the metro area. In Minneapolis, crews worked between snowfalls, on iced-over streets and sub-zero days to temporarily patch potholes when they could, with the bulk of the work occurring since February. Now that warmer weather is here, Minneapolis Public Works crews are busy making permanent patches on streets throughout the city.

The mayor and City Council approved the additional funding to increase the number of repair crews out patching potholes at the beginning of the summer construction and maintenance season. Crews will be temporarily reconfigured and redirected, and additional, temporary construction workers will be brought on so up to three additional pothole patching crews can be made available for two months. Public Works has also contracted with a pothole patching service provider to bolster the effort further and help accelerate repairs this spring.

In winter months, it is only possible to make temporary repairs to try to keep streets as drivable as possible until permanent repairs can be performed once the weather improves. Because hot mix asphalt and other materials are typically not available in sub-freezing weather, crews use a “cold mix,” which provides a temporary patch that has a fairly short lifespan, but still makes streets more drivable.

Now that better paving materials are available and methods for permanent repairs can be used, crews will be able to repair potholes by cleaning and “prepping” the pothole with liquid asphalt cement that acts like a glue, and then applying, rolling and compacting the asphalt for a long-lasting repair. Because this is more labor intensive, it is slower going, but crews will not have to make return trips as when temporary patches fail. City pothole patch crews prioritize their work, weighing factors such as traffic volumes and speeds, the severity of a particular pothole problem and whether the street is slated for more extensive work like resurfacing or reconstruction in the near future, as well as the ability to work effectively and efficiently.

To report a pothole on City of Minneapolis streets, people can call 311, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Reports can also be made online at or by using the 311 mobile phone app.  Public Works uses reports that come in from the public, as well as their knowledge of street conditions, to prioritize work and address street repairs in a responsible and cost-effective manner.

Published Apr 11, 2014



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