La Crosse Street Department using different method to control potholes

Crews are putting in asphalt patches instead of oil patches

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Recent temperature changes are causing many potholes to pop up once again.

But the La Crosse Street Department is trying something different to maintain them better.

“It’s kind of an endless battle until it warms up,” maintenance worker Joe Nickles said. “We’re just trying to stay on top of it.”

Street officials are used to potholes popping up this time of year.

“Usually when you get the big fluctuations where it’ll get below zero and then it will come back into the 30s and 40s, that’s when you usually have a lot more problems,” La Crosse Street Department assistant superintendent Andy Bakalars said.  “Once water gets underneath it, more water is able to get underneath it. So once they start popping, they deteriorate very rapidly.”

So the department is trying something different.

“Instead of using an oil patch which stays very soft, we actually have a machine that we take the asphalt from the streets that we tore out last year,” Bakalars said. “And we melt it back down…We’re actually putting asphalt in them, and it’s holding much, much better.”

Fewer potholes means fewer problems for your car.

“The big thing is slow down,” Nickles said. “We see a lot of that when we’re walking out here, walking behind the truck. It seems like everyone’s in a hurry now. And if they can slow down, that will make it less invasive on their vehicle if they do hit one.”

Bakalars also says that some potholes can get up to a foot deep, which could cause some bigger problems for someone’s car.

They can cause flat or cracked tires, leaks with the fluid and even damage to the car’s rims.

Officials advise people to drive around a pothole if you can, otherwise slow down as much as possible.

The street department recommends residents call them at (608)-789-7340 and let them know where a pothole is if they see one.

They also say to not be afraid to report a pothole more than once.

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