Potholes are causing problems for drivers in Eau Claire

This year’s winter weather left some major bumps in the road
Published: May. 15, 2023 at 5:26 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - If you were thinking there’s more potholes this year than ever before, you would be right.

Aaron Nicholson, manager of Eau Claire’s street and fleet division, said the pothole problem is even worse this year as the winter weather caused more damage to the roads than normal.

“We haven’t seen potholes like this in quite a few years,” Nicholson said.

Potholes are a driver’s headache, and you car’s worst nightmare. Grant Ida, sales manager at All Season Tire Pros in Eau Claire, said more people have been coming in for repairs from pothole damages.

“We’re getting tons of customers coming in just with lots of flat tires and blown out tires and bent wheels, cracked wheels and yeah, just seem to be a lot more kind of common this year than we’ve seen in the past,” Ida said.

According to Nicholson, this last winter was warmer and wetter than usual. Which caused moisture to seep into the pavement, where it would refreeze and expand causing damage to our streets.

“Then the next day the sun comes out and it melts that water underneath the pavement again. Now there’s a void. And then the car comes, drives over it, and that’s what cracks and creates the pothole. So it’s just a vicious cycle,” Nicholson said.

He said the street and fleet division has been working for month already to fill in as many potholes as they can.

“We had anywhere from 6 to 12 people out at any given time. We had multiple crews out, cold patching. And then we also have the spray patch,” Nicholson said.

Crews have been focusing on getting the heavily trafficked roads done first.

“Everybody travels to get to work, to church, to other places, and we have the secondary roads, which is also schools, churches, etc. From there we get into the residentials,” Nicholson said.

Because the problem is so bad this year, they’re trying something new.

“We have a crew out that’s doing a little bit of an overlay project. They’re taking some of the really bad stretches and they’re literally put in about an inch and a half of blacktop along the whole road,” Nicholson said.

You can also report any potholes to the streets and fleet division through the iWorQ app or submit a service request.