Varying temperatures causing potholes to appear already

Hampden County

Springfield Public Works Superintendent Christopher Cignoli has urged drivers to be extra careful avoiding the potholes that have developed during the past few days.

The sudden emergence of countless potholes is the direct result of the this season’s extreme freeze-thaw cycles.

“The expansion and the thawing are what’s happening in the surface,” he explained. “On the roads, where there’s any cracking and water getting in there, it really does huge damage.”

Ciignoli is urging drivers to report potholes to their respective public works departments to prevent them from causing serious damage. He said too many potholes go unreported.

With the early arrival of the pothole season, DPW crews are expected to be kept busy for quite some time, right into the spring.

“We’re going to be working all through February and all through March until we get to the point where the [asphalt] plant is open and we can make the permanent repair,” said Cignoli.

Because it’s currently too cold to use the permanent pothole filler known as “hot patch,” pothole repairs are strictly temporary.

Cignoli estimates that 95 percent of potholes being repaired now will require permanent repairs in late March or early April.

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