EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – It’s that sinking feeling of driving down the road and all of a sudden, it’s like your car fell into a crater.
Even though spring is weeks away, crews are keeping their eye on those potholes
On Water Street in Eau Claire, potholes like to sprout up every year, every time there’s a freeze.
“We want to try and clear out the material out of the potholes, the ice and water that's in there, then we put in a warmed up high performance patch to hopefully maintain and get rid of the potholes on the street,” said Steve Ritcher a heavy equipment operator with the city of Eau Claire.
It’s a mixture of crushed rock and asphalt oil, heated up to 150 degrees.
“We push it down and run over by the traffic it'll hopefully adhere and dry out and it'll be no more pothole located,” said Ritcher.
Once the streets start to look like the surface of the moon, crews know it’s time to re-patch.
“It’s a year round operation, but starts probably a little more emphasis on checking them once we start to get snow and colder temperatures,” said Steve Thompson, street maintenance manager.
Thompson said the high performance patch is temporary but can usually last through the winter.
Among the worst roads that need to be plowed, he said, includes Barstow Street, the downtown area, Brackett Avenue as well as parts of Birch Street.
As soon as the main city roads are done, crews move onto the residential streets, just as they do when they plow and salt roads during snowfalls.
“We want to maintain definitely a high quality of streets for the citizens of the city of Eau Claire and for the greater Chippewa Valley,” said Ritcher.
Crews say if you notice some really bad potholes in the area, give the street division a phonecall at (715) 839-4963, as they do keep a list of some of the major pot holes they want to fix right away.