Potholes Forming Early This Year

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If you ask road workers in Eau Claire County why they fill potholes the way they do, they'll tell you about their discussion with a college professor in Madision about seven years ago.

"He said 'you've got some of the best product in the midwest being made and you've gotta start utilizing it,'" said Eau Claire County Highway Patrol Superintendent Jerry Boettcher.

The filler is called Unique Paving Materials, and it's out on the street a little sooner than usual.

"You're getting a great deal of thawing and freezing out there."

That pushes holes into the road surface.

The proof is also at Youngstedt's in Eau Claire, where alignment service is becoming a hot commodity.

"Vehicle alignment should be checked on a yearly basis," said Service Manager Jason Coequyt.

"To insure tire life and safety for everyone else on the road."

Back out on the street, the U.P.M. is being compacted with each tire that rolls over it.

The patches won't really be flush with the road until after the next big snowfall when the plows come through and clip off the tops, kind of like leveling off a tablespoon of peanut butter.

Not much can be done about the pieces that could kick up and get stuck in your tires until the construction season, anyway.

"As they continue to upgrade these roads and fix them, we're gonna have a lot less potholes," Boettcher said.

And fewer uses for a seven-year old lecture on how to fill them.