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Posted on: January 18, 2018

Pothole Information

The bitter cold deep freeze is now breaking up asphalt roads as they thaw. Potholes usually bloom like May flowers during the spring, but with the intense freeze/ thaw cycle, they are here early!

Water can get under the pavement through cracks or from the side of the road. Over time, the water can cause the material under the pavement to erode, causing the pavement to sink down and break. During the winter, the water under the pavement freezes then thaws (contracting and expanding). This freeze/thaw cycle can cause the pavement to crack so that it deteriorates quickly under the weight of traffic, and then streets can seem to break out in potholes overnight.

Why are there so may potholes in our streets?

You can expect to see more potholes in the winter and spring, following periods of cold temperatures and rain or snow. Coastal area cities and towns experience extensive freeze/thaw cycles.

You filled a pothole, but a few days later, there it was again. Why don't your repairs last longer?

Because making permanent repairs during the winter is both difficult and expensive, in winter months we fill potholes with both cold and hot patch and wait until spring to make permanent repairs with hot asphalt. These temporary repairs are intended to maintain safety and minimize damage to vehicles. Permanent repairs require waiting until the spring to thaw.

What determines the order in which potholes should be repaired first?

Potholes found on major roadways and potholes that are an immediate hazard to motorists or pedestrians, are given primary attention.

How do I report a pothole?

You may report it by calling the Department of Public Works at (978)281-9785, or by using our online reporting system, SeeClickFix (https://en.seeclickfix.com/)

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