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February 02, 2012 04:52 PM

Pothole Patrol Hits Sioux Falls Streets

Sioux Falls, SD


We haven't had much snow to clear from roads this winter in Sioux Falls. But the little we have received was just enough to cause some long-lasting road issues.

The buzz on this Sioux Falls street isn't that of roaring traffic. Rather, the rumble is from a crew on pothole patrol. It's one of two crews to literally hit the streets Thursday.

"We try and judge by what we're getting for calls and what we're seeing on the streets ourselves whether we have one crew or two crews or four our there. We determine that by what we see for a need," Lynn Harrington said.

Filling potholes starts at the Street Department headquarters. An asphalt recycling machine takes old chunks of pavement and heats them into a new mix. The steaming solution sticks much better than how crews used to fill potholes during winter months.

"Obviously we're still dealing with the little bit colder temperatures, we're still dealing with moisture so there are times putting a hot mix material still isn't going to hold for us," Harrington said.

Filling in a pothole is a three-part process. First, the crew cleans out the hole. Second they apply the primer, and then third, they fill it in.

And while you might think the seemingly easy winter is giving crews a head start on their summertime chores, the street maintenance supervisor says this doesn't mean they're getting ahead of the curve.

"I'm not sure we ever get a real good jump on them. It's just the climate that we live in, it's just an evil that's going to be out there," Harrington said.

But it's an evil Harrington says they're smoothing out, one hole at a time.

City crews try to repair a pothole within 24 hours of learning about it. The city has a hotline to take those reports. The pothole hotline is 367-8002.
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