76
      Thursday
      85 / 61
      Friday
      85 / 62
      Saturday
      86 / 62

      Pothole patching season has arrived

      The warm spring temperatures mean pothole season has arrived. Our Facebook fans want to know, what can road commissions do to fix them?

      Even if you feel like you live in "Pothole Central," chances are you haven't seen as many as "Cub" Tinner; he's been working more than 20 years with the Alger County Road Commission, and patching potholes is just part of his job.

      "It gets kind of monotonous after awhile, hole after hole. You get a good rain and traffic and you're right back to where you were; most are pounded back out again," said Tinner.

      The pesky craters are created by the thaw and refreeze cycle that typically occurs in the spring. As pavement expands from the cold, it cracks, moisture sneaks in, and a pothole is born. Facebook fans say they're more than a pain but a serious danger on the road.

      The Alger County Road Commission says they take potholes seriously, aiming to tackle the worst ones first. Last summer they invested in a four-ton coal patch warming truck. It warms the coal patch so the bond is stronger than a cold coal patch.

      The coal patching the road commissions lay serve only as a temporary fix, and although it's the most cost effective route, it's pricey.

      "It's nearly $100 a ton of coal patch; with our budget constraints, we surely can't get every pothole," said Bob Linbeck, Engineer and Manager of the Alger County Road Commission. He says on some roads, it's not uncommon to spend $400 on patch holes in a day.

      Some Facebook fans say it's the wrong way to deal with a never-ending problem.

      Amanda Fahrenkrug writes: "Where I live...there is just no point in patching them, the whole road needs to be redone."

      Road commissions say that solution would be far more costly and impossible with the current budget.

      Facebook fan Kelly Westphal writes: "If the road commissions had enough funding, they'd hire enough people to properly fix the roads. Since no one wants to vote for funding, you get patchwork instead of a permanent fix."

      Road commission foremen patrol for areas with the worst potholes. You can help by reporting potholes in your area to your local county road commission.