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Temperature Swings Affects Sioux Falls Roads

January 21, 2014, 5:55 PM by Matt Holsen

Temperature Swings Affects Sioux Falls Roads

Extreme temperature swings in Sioux Falls are taking a toll on city streets. After a nice day on Sunday, it's back to the bitter cold. For street crews, it's back to work to make sure your commute is a smooth ride.

"That is going to freeze some place. It's going to freeze on top of the surface or if it finds any little fault within the surface itself it will drop down in there and then freeze and then cause a pothole," Street/Utilities manager Galynn Huber said.

Huber says he tries to keep three to four crews actively patching potholes. Reports of bad roads are coming in from residents about six times a day. And even when city crews get out to fix potholes, sometimes those fixes don't last very long.

"Anytime we get this freeze/thaw cycle where we get really warm during the day, cold at night, even my potholes that I fix, sometimes the water can get underneath there if I don't get enough compaction on it and it can pop that material right back out again," Huber said.

Huber likes it to be above zero to work on potholes. He says the roller coaster weather is usually an issue for streets in February, not January.

"For us it would be better if it would just stay cold until it's done and then once it warms up, just stay warm. That way everything would work really good for us but that's not the way the winters are in South Dakota," Huber said.

Huber says when potholes are reported, his crews are usually able to fix them that day. While the temperature fluctuation negatively affects roads, the warmer temps give his snow plow crews a much-needed break.

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