Patching potholes during warmer weather

Crew members from the Kent County Road Commission out early in the morning filling potholes (March 31, 2014).

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Warmer weather and rain in the 8-day forecast means another crop of potholes in West Michigan.

About 30 crew members from the Kent County Road Commission are expected to be out filling potholes Monday, since more potholes may be on the way.

Jerry Byrne with the Kent County Road Commission said the frost is about four feet deep in the asphalt, so any rain that falls will have nowhere to drain, creating a soft base and more potholes.

A lot of the potholes have been patched six or more times, but without consistently warmer, drier weather, Byrne said the cold patch will only last a day or so.

It’s such a problem the Road Commission is considering other solutions because of all of the potholes.

“If they get so rough that we can’t safely maintain them, we’re going to grind them up and turn them into gravel,” Byrne said.

Any roads affected would then be repaved as soon as they’re able to do so. The Road Commission will take a closer look at the road conditions this week and they’ll also be looking at how much all the road repairs are going to cost.

They still don’t know what our winter tab will be. Byrne said they’re already $2.5 million over their winter budget. The state stepped in with $1.8 million, but Kent County is still in the hole.

More state money is coming, but it’s designated for chosen projects, or shovel ready projects; not critical areas like potholes. Byrne said they will have to dip into their own savings and make some changes, but your drive shouldn’t be affected.

“Our priority is going to be on pavement where people drive,” Byrne said. “What we’re going to look at our drainage issues that probably won’t be addressed, tree issues, dead trees that should be cut down, basins that need to be cleaned out.”

For now, the Road Commission will focus on patching up what they can until consistently warmer weather arrives.

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