Potholes

Birth Of A Pothole

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Potholes begin after snow or rain seeps into the soil below the road surface.

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The moisture freezes when temperatures drop, causing the ground to expand and push the pavement up.

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As temperatures rise, the ground returns to normal level but the pavement often remains raised.  This creates a gap between the pavement and the ground below it.

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When vehicles drive over this cavity, the pavement surface cracks and falls into the hollow space, leading to the birth of another pothole.

There are two ways the City of Albert Lea repairs potholes.

Man filling pothole with asphalt

In the early spring crews repair the holes with a material called COLD MIX.

This is a material similar to regular asphalt used in the summer to pave roads, but is made by mixing the aggregates and asphalt binders without adding heat.  This allows cold mix to be transported, stored and applied over a extended period of time.

You can see crews shoveling the cold mix out of a cold mix wagon, that heats the cold mix just prior to use, which makes the cold mix bind together, and to the surrounding asphalt.

Once the weather warms crews also fix potholes with the help of a asphalite machine.  The asphalite machine basically mixes hot asphalt on the site.  It consist of a trailer with a large insulated tank containing a hot liquid asphalt polymer.  The truck pulling the trailer holds the aggregate for the mix.  The two materials are mixed together as they are blown into the pot hole by air pressure.

Please call 507 377-4377 to report problem potholes.