Winter can be torturous on our roads.
From the weather to salting and plows, Minnesota roads take a beating this time of year. The slow start to the winter helped in the first few months, but the season has become more active recently.
The roads can handle the salt and the plows. Even active winters with lots of snow don't damage the roads much. What does the most damage is the freezing and thawing that we have had this winter, especially recently. Water seeps into road cracks and when it freezes, it expands, creating bigger cracks.
And then you get potholes...
"A pothole in the city is inconvenient and uncomfortable and may damage your car in the worst case. But a pothole on a high speed rural highway can be very dangerous" says Blue Earth County Public Works Director and Chief Engineer Alan Forsberg.
Forsberg is in charge of 700 miles of paved and gravel roads in Blue Earth County, while MN DoT is in charge of state and federal highways.
"During the winter time, it's a very flexible asphalt patching material" says Jed Falgren, Area Maintenance Engineer with MN DoT. This winter mix can be packed down by crews, or by traffic. "During the winter months it's a challenge for Minnesota drivers, we just want to make sure that, you know yesterday they were worried about ice, today we've got potholes and we're going to have crews out there in both situations trying to make those better driving conditions for everybody" says Falgren.
Drivers are urged to slow down as crews repair the roads. They risk their lives to keep the roads safe for drivers.