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      Spring in the air, potholes in the pavement

      Maintaining the roads is a year-round process, but this time of year is when Public Works and the City of Marquette have the most work to do.

      The thaw and refreeze cycle during spring is what forms pot holes. When it's cold, pavement expands and cracks allow moisture to seep in and blossom into a pothole.

      There is no prioritizing, but the City of Marquette uses a rating scale of one to ten, one being the worst and ten best, for street maintenance. However, repairs are pricey.

      "Crack sealing for example, which would be preventative maintenance, is usually $30,000 a mile. The next level, which would be your heavy maintenance, which would be your mill and overlay, roughly averages about $375,000 a mile," says Keith Whitington, a city engineer of Marquette.

      The worst streets needing complete reconstruction cost almost double that, at $600,000.

      Materials may only last a couple days to a couple of years because if workers donâ??t seal out the moisture, the surface will crack again.

      Also, if another snow storm blows in, plows can kick up the materials as well leaving us back where we started.