If you think the pothole situation seems to be getting worse, that's because it is.
It's pothole season, and MPR's Tom Crann spoke with Mike Kennedy, director of transportation, maintenance and repair for Minneapolis Public Works, about the tire-popping and axle-breaking street hazards. The audio from that conversation is above, and we've compiled a list of things to know based on what Kennedy told us below.
- There are 1,609 miles of pavement in Minneapolis.
- About 20 miles of pavement are at or below the 70/74 Pavement Condition Index level, the point below which potholes are more likely to occur.
- About 25 miles of pavement are budgeted for complete resurfacing.
- It's not always obvious who has the responsibility to deal with potholes. For example, the intersection of Lyndale and Franklin Avenues in Minneapolis, often a source of pothole complaints, is overseen by Hennepin County, not the city of Minneapolis. When the city receives pothole complaints about the two streets, it forwards the information to Hennepin County's public works department.
- City road crews have been providing temporary pothole patches, called "cold patches," during the winter months. More than 200 tons of temporary asphalt mix has been used for cold patches this year.
- Crews often need to patch the same pothole several times. The cold patches can "pop out" when the temperature increases during the day and drops at night. The "freeze/thaw" cycle keeps city repair crews busy.
- The city prioritizes pothole repairs based on three factors: the degree of hazard to motorists, the location of the pothole (heavily trafficked streets get top priority), and where the pothole is in relation to the other work that city crews have been assigned.
- The peak pothole season usually runs from late February and into March, although it arrived a little earlier this year because of the warm temperatures.
- Pothole repair has to compete with other city services, such as public safety, for funding. And many city funds are dedicated to specific services or departments.
- If you spot a pothole in Minneapolis, call 311 to report it to the city.
Report and discover where potholes are in the Twin Cities with our plotting potholes map.