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Published February 22, 2014, 09:53 PM

It’s pothole season again

Anyone who’s driven down Main Avenue lately knows that, without a doubt, pothole season has arrived.

By: Archie Ingersoll, INFORUM

Anyone who’s driven down Main Avenue lately knows that, without a doubt, pothole season has arrived.

Mark Williams, Fargo’s manager of public works services, said the stretch of Main from

25th Street to University Drive is one of the roughest in the city.

“What you’re seeing on Main is the result of thin mill-and-overlay (paving) that’s outlived its life expectancy,” Williams said, adding that a contractor has been hired to repave that section this summer.

Although the ride is exceptionally bumpy on Main Avenue, the rest of the streets in the metro area are seeing a normal year for potholes, public works officials said.

Winter has been doing its typical number on roads, and crews have been patching potholes as needed with a cold, oily mix of asphalt. It’s a temporary fix until temperatures rise and hot asphalt can be used.

Randy Affield, manager of Moorhead’s streets, fleet and sanitation division, said that so far, the city has only had a handful of potholes to fix.

“I’m sure they’ll be popping up as the weather warms up, and we get some more freeze-thaw cycles going on,” he said.

Explaining the genesis of potholes, Williams said snow and ice melt during the day allowing water to seep into small cracks in roads and freeze overnight. That’s why they emerge with regularity at the end of each winter and into the spring.

“It wreaks havoc on those areas that were on the verge of failing last year,” he said.

Chris Brungardt, West Fargo’s interim director of public works, said he thinks the consistently low temperatures through much of the winter helped limit the number of potholes because the roads were spared some freezing and thawing.

Still, Brungardt said his city has started to see more potholes as spring approaches. He said Main Avenue west of the Sheyenne River is a trouble spot that’s expected to be repaved

in 2015.

“We’ve found a couple larger ones,” he said. “But overall, it’s nothing worse than usual.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Archie Ingersoll at (701) 451-5734

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