City crews employ temporary measures to fix potholes ahead of asphalt season

City Press Releases

March 4, 2022

PITTSBURG, KS – City crews are heading out this week to begin treating potholes early, with the anticipation that this year’s street maintenance season will be a challenging one.

Winter weather is always hard on roads, but freeze and thaw cycles like we’ve seen in Pittsburg the past two months can cause worse conditions.

Extreme fluctuations in temperature combined with heavy snow and ice accumulation is rough on streets. Add sand, big trucks and other de-icing treatments to the mix, and you get a recipe for potholes.

In Pittsburg, street maintenance crews also contend with the fact that the majority of the streets in the city are historically brick with asphalt overlay, which breaks down faster than concrete or simple asphalt alone. Problem spots can also appear in intersections that have dips to allow drainage to pass through. Moisture can build up in these locations and cause potholes to appear.

For now, crews will be working with cold patch asphalt, which is a temporary measure until weather is favorable and better materials become available.

There are two different pothole repair methods used in road maintenance:

  • Cold patch asphalt fills a pothole using a combination of gravel and asphalt and requires no heat. This method is cheap and fast, but it’s temporary.
  • Hot mix asphalt is a longer-lasting method and is the best way to repair potholes. Hot mix asphalt requires a warm, dry surface, and the right materials. The air and ground must be warm enough to allow the hot mix to set properly. If it is too cold or wet, the patch may not take. Getting access to hot mix asphalt is also an important factor, and asphalt plants won’t open up until later in the spring.
    In the meantime, the city expects requests from residents to begin pouring in as drivers notice potholes in their neighborhoods and along their daily commutes.

To help manage these requests, the city asks that community members use the city’s SeeClickFix online app to submit the locations of the potholes. Once identified in the app, city staff can better plan street maintenance work this spring and summer.

The city appreciates the patience of our community as we work to resolve these issues as soon as we can. To report a pothole or other issue on the city’s online app, go to https://www.pittks.org/seeclickfix/.

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The mission of the City of Pittsburg is to provide exceptional services, facilities and activities with integrity, professionalism, excellent customer service and a commitment to economic vitality.

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