Creation of Potholes

Potholes - no one likes them! They seem to pop up overnight. In reality, potholes are created in a number of ways. When water seeps into cracks on the road’s surface and is combined with the vibration of traffic it causes the asphalt to fail. This is why there are more potholes after it rains. Potholes are also created when trucks and buses stress the roadway causing a movement of the subsurface. 

Once there is a weak spot, every car that travels over it worsens the problem, and eventually a section of the material will fail. The most common cause is the freeze/thaw cycle. The ice/snow melts during the day filling cracks with water. At night the water freezes and expands, popping out the asphalt.


Potholes and other roadway failures are repaired by the Street Division in order of priority. The problem is corrected initially by installing a temporary patching material. Then areas needing repair are prioritized by size, number and street traffic volume to see if more extensive roadway repairs are warranted. More information regarding larger projects such as reconstruction, mill and overlay or the annual Seal Coat Project may be found under Engineering Projects.

Report a Pothole

To report potholes, please call the Public Works Department at 507-444-4350 or submit an online SeeClickFix ticket using Report a Concern.