Regional
2:11 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Communities Racking up Expensive Street Repair Bills

Our harsh winter weather has been taking a toll on roadways. Warmer temperatures will make some better and some worse.

Plenty for crews to patch this winter
Plenty for crews to patch this winter

Greenfield Superintendent of Public Works Ewert says, when it comes to concrete, cold temperatures cause the soil below to expand and raise the panels. He calls them frost heaves. As for asphalt roads, they absorb water, and when the temperatures drops, chunks come out – creating potholes.

Ewert says, some days, crews can’t do anything about them. "It's harder to do in between snow storms, but we try to be out there at least once a week and hit the really bad stuff."

When the soil warms, Ewert says some of the raised concrete panels will fall back into place. Others won’t, so they’ll have to be repaired.

Warmer weather is also when more potholes will surface, according to MaryJo Lang, Cudahy's director of public works. She says freeze-thaw cycle will wreak more havoc. “That's actually going to happen probably in another six weeks and we're expecting a really bad time – a lot of pavement failures."

Lang estimates Cudahy’s bill for the winter will be 75 percent higher than last year’s. Dan Ewert puts Greenfield’s at twice the cost of last winter.