MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Temperature fluctuations take a heavy toll on our roads and cars, and it helps uncover an annual problem for drivers.
“First Avenue, puha, it’s super harsh,” Kyle Long said as he walked his dog along Minneapolis Street, leading to his car pain earlier in the week.
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A hole in the road blew his tire off the rim along 1st Avenue near 22nd Street on the south side of town. Fortunately, his workshop is only a few blocks away.
“I realized when I got there that I was definitely riding on the rim,” he said.
The past month has offered brutally cold days below zero, with sprinkles of heat pushing to over 32 degrees – creating a freeze-thaw cycle that holes need to thrive.
“This year certainly feels faster than usual,” Long said.
The reality is that the gaps are right on schedule, according to Mike Kennedy, director of transportation, repair and maintenance for Minneapolis Public Works.
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“We’re starting to see some of the holes jump through on some of the older roads, and it can get a little bad when they start popping,” Kennedy said. “But it’s pretty average so far right now.”
When public works crews are not plowing snow, they are out to repair the problem, and they will do so in the coming days. St. Paul will specifically have two crews focused on that job on Thursday.
“Typically, they can have five crews working five different service areas around Minneapolis at any one time,” Kennedy said.
However, Kennedy was not sure how many crews would patch up Thursday. They will use the “cold patch”, which is only a temporary solution until the spring season. This is when the temperatures melt the snow and ice completely, revealing the true extent of the harmful nuisance.
Kennedy asks the drivers to be patient. Most of the hole problem pops up at once, which means the crews have to prioritize the worst first.
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To report gaps in Minneapolis, contact 311. To report them in St. Paul, send an email to email@example.com.